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article imageMicrosoft's Cortana now officially launched on iPhone and Android

By James Walker     Dec 9, 2015 in Technology
Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant has received its first public release to smartphones running iOS, Android and Cyanogen OS. Cortana was built for Windows but is now platform-agnostic so most features work as intended.
A public beta of Cortana for Android was released back in August. In late November, Microsoft began closed testing of the iOS version. Today, Cortana officially launched on both platforms. It will also be coming to U.S. OnePlus One handsets via a Cyanogen OS update.
Cortana started life as a new feature for Windows Phone 8.1, announced in April 2014. The digital assistant is powered by Bing and uses machine learning to intelligently respond to voice commands.
iOS and Android already have their own digital assistants baked into the operating system, Siri and Google Now respectively. By launching Cortana as an app for both platforms, Microsoft is rivalling its competitors on their own turf, giving users a choice of which assistant to use.
Microsoft s Cortana - now on Windows Phone 8.1  Windows 10 / 10 Mobile  iOS  Android and Cyanogen OS
Microsoft's Cortana - now on Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 10 / 10 Mobile, iOS, Android and Cyanogen OS
Microsoft
Having Cortana available on every major platform also keeps people aware of the existence of Windows 10. By experiencing one of its most publicised features on their current device, users of Cortana on iOS or Android may be gradually converted towards trying a Windows product if they come impressed by Microsoft's software.
Microsoft said: "Cortana was created to be a truly personal digital assistant - available on the go, where or when you need help, and on whatever device you carry. That's why it's important to us that we bring Cortana to not only the Windows 10 ecosystem, but to other platforms. Today, we're excited to announce that Cortana is available on select iPhone, Android and Cyanogen OS powered devices as a great companion experience to your Windows 10 PC."
Some of Cortana's features that work regardless of platform include constantly synchronised reminders, missed call alerts from your phone on your PC, sending text messages from your PC and tracking things such as flights, calendar appointments and the current location of a parcel.
Microsoft s Cortana - now on Windows Phone 8.1  Windows 10 / 10 Mobile  iOS  Android and Cyanogen OS
Microsoft's Cortana - now on Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 10 / 10 Mobile, iOS, Android and Cyanogen OS
Microsoft
Cortana's power is limited on iOS and Android compared with the Windows original, however. Microsoft can't leverage the power of the phone as much as it can when it has direct access to the underlying OS, so some of Cortana's features are unavailable on iOS and Android. The majority of the functionality is there though, including support for "Hey Cortana" always-on listening when on the home screen of an Android phone.
Microsoft says it will be expanding Cortana on all supported platforms in the future. Where possible, new abilities will be made available on Windows, iOS, Android and Cyanogen, making Cortana the most widespread digital assistant in terms of potential market share. Siri remains firmly iOS only while Google Now's only expansion from Android has been to Chrome OS and the Google homepage on desktop browsers, albeit in a limited form.
More about Microsoft, cortana, Windows, digital assistant, Ios
 
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