Sunday 20 April 2014

Getting Cortana to work in Australia

Encase you haven’t heard – Windows Phone 8.1 is now available free to developers.  This version is not the final version and there are various warning about installing it.

Blah blah blah….

Okay, maybe like me you got excited about installing the latest shiny on your Lumia windows phone. 

I signup for a free developer account and then installed windows phone 8.1 on my Lumia 720. I had about 3 updates prior to actually getting to actual the 8.1 update – be warned.

Cool.  Okay nice notification centre.
Changed the background image thing with the home page… cool.

Where is Cortana?  DOH.  I hate being a second class citizen to the USA.  Turns out this is another case of if you aren’t in the united states then we don’t care (that’s what it feels like anyway).

Fine.  I will pretend to be an American.  Changed the region and language to United States.  Restarted.  No Cortana still !!!!

Okay so I stopped crying and went to bed as it was rather late by the time I managed to update to 8.1.  I figured some Googling in the morning would reveal the obvious problem.

Read this article outline the steps required to get it working in the UK.

That’s when I found the missing step. In the settings > Language make sure English (United States) is ABOVE English (United Kingdom).  To move it above press and hold to get a context menu and choose to ‘Move Up’.

A restart was then required and there was the lovely Cortana Icon in the applications list.

So to recap:

  • Under Settings > Region - Select ‘United States’
  • Under Settings > Language – Add ‘English (United States)
  • Once installed make sure the United States version of English is above the United Kingdom version in the Language settings.

Some side effects:

Bing News will no longer report your local news.  It will be United States news.
Cortana will report the weather in Fahrenheit not Celsius.

Good luck and I hope you get it too work on your phone too.

Saturday 19 April 2014

Finally – Windows Phone 8.1 supports Podcasts!

As a web developer I am always learning and one of my favourite ways to learn is listening to podcasts.  I have been a windows phone user for the last 4 years and I have always been disappointed with the podcast experience in Australia.

Well I’m glad to say that the latest version of Windows Phone (8.1) finally supports podcasts as first class citizens.  Mind you I’ve yet to confirm this on my actual phone. 

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Overzealous Security - Password Pain

I was just registered to comment on a website and my simple password (9 characters two alpha 6 numbers and 1 special char) was rejected as being too insecure.

It needs to have at least one Uppercase letter apparently.


What are you protecting here? I just wanted to post a comment – not open a bank account.

Plus, why if I signup with twitter do you want basically access to EVERYTHING?


Wow I’m glad that they don’t get my twitter password at least!