In a competitive move against Apple's Siri and Google Assistant, Microsoft has finally brought the ability to connect Cortana with Gmail on a Windows 10 machine. The new integration lets you use the Cortana assistant to access information directly from your Gmail account and view your new emails as well as the contacts and calendar records stored on a Google account.
You can enable the new experience on your Windows 10 PC by adding Gmail as a Connected Service on Cortana. Firstly, you need to make sure that you're running the latest Windows 10 build on your system, and Cortana is enabled for voice and typing services. After that, go to Connected Services option from the Cortana Notebook section in the Cortana window and then select Gmail after clicking the Add a Service button. You will now be provided with a sign-in pop-up where you need to mention your Gmail credentials. Once signed in, Cortana will prompt you with some permissions that you need to grant to enable the integration.
Microsoft has provided a Disconnect button that will help you disable Gmail access through Cortana. However, it is worth noting here that the digital assistant will continue to collect the data from your Gmail account until you revoke its permissions from Google's My Account site.
Alongside Windows 10 PCs, the latest integration brings Gmail access to Harman Kardon Invoke that was debuted in October with Cortana support. This means that you would get a chance to access your personal information from your Google account right through the Invoke speaker as well.
Moreover, the Gmail integration sits alongside other connected services on Cortana, including LinkedIn and Knowmail. You can also use Cortana to access information from Microsoft's native services such as Dynamic CRM, Office 365, Outlook, and Skype.
The latest development comes months after Microsoft announced its strategic partnership with Amazon to make Cortana and Alexa work together. That initiative was mainly aimed to swipe at Siri and Google Assistant that both are getting bigger and better on mobile devices.