Hulu’s streaming service was already available on nearly all major platforms, including desktop, mobile, tablet, gaming consoles and other TV-connected devices. However, it was lacking support for one major computing platform: Windows 10. That changes today, as Microsoft and Hulu announce a new version of Hulu application, which includes Windows 10 specific features like Live Tiles and universal voice search via Cortana integration, for example.
In the Windows 10 Start Menu, the Hulu’s support for Live Tiles will give you a preview of what’s inside. That is, the tiles will feature still images and those that pan across the tile in order to showcase the content that Hulu’s app is currently promoting on its masthead. This is typically five featured shows that the service is trying to call attention to.
Meanwhile, the other standout Windows 10 feature is the built-in voice search powered by Microsoft’s virtual assistant, Cortana. Similar to other Cortana integrations in Windows 10 applications – as in Uber, NPR or Netflix – you’ll need to say “Hey Cortana” to kick off your voice command.
For example, you could say “Hey Cortana…Hulu watch Empire.” Talking to Cortana is a bit more involved, when compared with the way that voice assistants work when on dedicated streaming media players, like Apple TV, where you can just dictate what’s to be done (e.g. “Play episode 3;” “show me funny movies”). If anything, the experience is more like communicating with Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa on the Echo speaker where you have to call her up by name, then tell her which app needs to be launched.
At launch, Cortana can only perform a couple of tasks on Hulu: it helps you search for shows or episodes, and it can play a show for you. Here, the app is smart, too, as it will resume the show or series where you left off. That is, if you were halfway through an episode it will pick up where you had paused it earlier, and if you were working your way through a series, it will play the next one in line.
This is not the first Hulu app to have some sort of voice integration – the company already has an Apple TV app as well.