We guess everyone is familiar with Win10’s queen voice assistant, Cortana. As a full-time voice assistant software, its performance is really unsatisfactory, and now it has been beaten by Microsoft. On the contrary, many voice assistants on smartphones are developing swiftly. For example, the famous Apple Siri and the voice assistants of several major Chinese smartphone manufacturers have performed very well.
Recently, some users discovered that “Xiao Ai” appeared in the Win10 app store, and it also supports installation on all Win10 devices. By the way, this Xiao Ai voice assistant can be regarded as one of the most famous voice assistants in China. But it causes a serious question – is this Win10 Xiao Ai as good as the one on smartphones.
Since it is still in the closed beta period, it is not possible to search for “Xiao Ai” in the app store. The correct method is to open the following address, copy it to the browser, then click the “Get” button on the page to start the Win10 app store, and then click the “Get” button to complete the download and installation of Xiao Ai.
Download address of Xiao Ai from Microsoft Store:
2. Configuration Wizard
The PC version uses the same icon design as the smartphone version. The configuration wizard will pop up for the first time, including the license agreement, introduction to use, and so on. Although there is no limited use of models, the introduction has mentioned a “Xiao Ai button” many times. This is a hardware wake-up button, which can call out Xiao Ai with one key. Currently, only the latest version of RedmiBook Pro is equipped with this button. This will be the most obvious difference between RedmiBook Pro and other Win10 computers before the PC version has added custom wake-up.
Like the smartphone version, Xiao Ai on the PC also needs to log in to use the account. The account does not limit what kind of equipment you can register at will on the official website. After the input is complete, you will enter the main interface of Xiao Ai.
3. Wake up and interface
Xiao Ai currently supports several wake-up methods. The easiest of course is to double-click the icon. As a voice assistant software, it naturally supports voice wake-up and shortcut key wake-up. It’s just that these two functions are not currently open to ordinary computers, and only support the just-released RedmiBook Pro. However, even if it is an ordinary computer, you can click on the “voice ball” on Xiao Ai to activate the voice, or enter the command directly in the command box.
The PC version of Xiao Ai provides three voice roles: “Honey”, “Jasmine” and “Green Onion”, which are the same as those on the smartphone. It supports two sets of interfaces of dark and light colors. At the same time, Win10 classic Fluent Design “frosted glass” special effects are added, and the overall visual sense is very good. However, the current interface style still requires the user to switch manually, and cannot be changed automatically following the Win10 theme.
4. Functional experience
In terms of functions, the PC version inherits most of the functions of the smartphone version, such as mathematical operations, weather query, software startup, etc., and you can even use it to shut down the computer directly. Like the smartphone version, the PC version also has a synchronized voice output. For example, when you are inquiring about the weather, in addition to popping up the weather trend in the last few days on the screen, it will also use voice descriptions. But as you can see, because the computer does not support voice wake-up, we have to manually click the voice icon once every time we issue a command. The user experience is still much worse. Fortunately, the recognition rate is not bad, especially under the background that the computer mic is generally not as good as that of the smartphone, it is very satisfactory to be able to achieve similar effects.
In addition, the editor also tested some very useful scenarios, such as ancient poetry search, encyclopedia search, quick translation, stock index, holiday query, limited line query and so on. Although these functions are not common, they can still bring a lot of convenience to our daily use by virtue of the convenience of voice operation. However, there are also some areas that are not as good as the mobile version, such as not supporting quick alarms, not supporting route navigation (will open the Baidu map page), not supporting singing, and no special translation mode, etc. (only simple single sentence translation is supported). But overall, it is much better than the cute Cortana.
5. Mijia Linkage
A big advantage of Xiao Ai is the Mijia linkage, which is also supported on the PC side. For example, query the temperature of the living room (Mijia Bluetooth thermometer), search for movies of interest (Mi TV/Box), turn on and off the lights (Mijia LED lights). The slightly more complicated smartphone location search, ringer search, and road condition query are currently not supported, and smart scene modes on the smarthone are not supported.
The basic Mijia linkage is also supported. But there is no smart scene on the smartphone, and a more complex linkage will not work.
6. Windows operation
In addition to these functions with the smartphone, Xiao Ai also brings some functions specifically for Windows on the PC – for example, search for files edited yesterday, find out the emails sent to me by XXX, etc. (Only Outlook is supported). In addition, you can open applications, close the computer, restart the computer, lock the screen, return to the desktop, open computer, etc.
You can also use it to adjust the brightness of the device (only tablets or laptops are supported), modify the volume, enter the application uninstall list and so on. But more complicated commands will not work. For example, “Open Settings” will not be recognized (it can recognize “Open Control Panel”). At the same time, we found that it is better at recognizing daily expressions, such as “Open PR” to recognize, and “Open “Premiere” is difficult, similar to “open PS”, “open AE”, “open PPT”, etc. Although it is more in line with most people’s habits, but…this is a problem after all!
7. Meeting Mode
“Conference Mode” is another signature feature of Xiao Ai’s PC version, similar to music control. First of all, it is used with PowerPoint. If PowerPoint is not installed or PowerPoint is launched, you cannot enter this mode. Secondly, one of the biggest differences between it and ordinary voice commands is that after entering the conference mode, you can execute “previous page”, “next page”, “switch to page XX” and other commands without waking up. As for the entry method, it is also very simple. Click on the voice ball (or other wake-up method) and say “Open meeting mode” to enter, and then say “Exit meeting mode” to exit.
Generally speaking, this UWP version of Xiao Ai is one of the more powerful voice assistants on the PC side. Although there are still many functions to be perfected, it is obviously much stronger than the built-in Win10 Cortana. However, the PC version of Xiao Ai also failed to get through the connection with the smartphone. For example, when you want to check the schedule that has been set on your phone, you will find that this step cannot be done. Of course, another problem is that it is currently not possible to customize the voice wake-up words and shortcut keys, which also adds a lot to the experience. As a rare voice assistant test for the PC platform, it is worth a try.