Microsoft Launches Official 'Cortana' App for iOS and Android Devices

Microsoft today officially launched its virtual assistant Cortana as a downloadable app for iOS and Android platforms (via Business Insider). Similar to Apple's Siri personal assistant, Cortana allows Windows users to set reminders, preview the weather, and answer basic questions thanks to integrated internet search abilities. Other Cortana for iOS and Android features include the following:
•Set and get location and time reminders across your PC and phone.
•Track packages, flights, scores, stocks, and other important info across your PC and phone.
•Use Cortana’s Notebook to view, edit and manage your interests
•Get information and answers to all kinds of questions. If you’re looking for it, Cortana can help find it.
•Have a little fun in your down time — ask anything, get jokes, and much more.
Microsoft detailed a few features for Cortana at Business Insider's Ignition Conference in New York City, including abilities like asking Cortana for help with your voice without having to open up the app. Unfortunately, most of those features won't be available to iOS users due to certain developer restrictions that fence off Cortana from becoming fully integrated into iOS.

cortana for iOS
On the other hand, a few Android smartphones will gain a leg up on the iOS version of Cortana thanks to a partnership between Microsoft and start-up company Cyanogen, which runs a custom version of the OS on select Android devices. With Cyanogen software, Android users will have essentially all of the abilities Windows Phone users have over Cortana, including being able to speak to the personal assistant without opening up the separate app.

After some rumors and speculation earlier in the year, in May Microsoft confirmed that Cortana would be heading to non-Windows Phone platforms later this year. In November, the company opened up beta sign-ups for users to test out Cortana for iOS in a pre-release state.

Cortana for iOS is available to download now for free from the App Store [Direct Link].



Top Rated Comments

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10 months ago
Hey Siri....Open Cortana. Totally hands-free.
Rating: 7 Votes
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10 months ago
Not really sure what the point of this is on iOS. Also not available in the UK app store
Rating: 7 Votes
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10 months ago
While this nascent technology is off most people's radar, this maybe the future of ecosystem lock-in?

It's not a stretch to think that at some point Alexa, Cortana, or Siri may be more important to users than the OS or devices these "assistants" follow us around on. They'll own our schedules, our documents, our contacts, know our habits, provide access to our entertainment, help us spend money, automate our work and living spaces, help run our vehicles, mine our data, etc. They will be the gatekeepers between us and the technology and services we use.

While this is kludgy at the moment, I wouldn't be surprised if this is the biggest tech battle in the next decade?
Rating: 4 Votes
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10 months ago
Requires login to M$ account. Don't have one, so there goes Cortana.
Rating: 4 Votes
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10 months ago

Wow. Wasn't expecting it to be released so fast. Wasn't it just a few weeks ago they were sending it out to Beta Testers? Not much Beta Testing to do, I guess... I'll download it, but not really sure what to expect, since it can't actually replace Siri...

EDIT: hmm. It seems Microsoft (or Apple)has removed the App from iTunes. I'm in the US and can't seem to find it when searching for it. The direct link in the article doesn't work either. When you say "show in iTunes" it takes you to the page to download/install iTunes and not actually opening up iTunes on your computer...


Here is how you can find it:

>Look for any other Microsoft app at the App Store

>Tap on the developer

>Scroll until you find Cortana

>Download it

>Play with it for 5 minutes

>Forget it for the rest of your life inside of that folder named "others"
Rating: 4 Votes
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10 months ago
not showing in UK app store
Rating: 3 Votes
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10 months ago
Because 10 or so years from now, platforms may be irrelevant. Put another way, Siri/Cortana/Alexa/etc may in fact be the ecosystems that we access from various devices and the internet of things.

We won't search with Bing or Google, but with Siri or Cortana
We'll ask Alexa to make a phone call, or Siri to send an email, regardless of what service we use for those communications
Alexa and Siri will be how we manage and find our work data and entertainment, across a multitude of platforms
Cortana and Siri will be in our communications, shopping, and productivity workflows

the names above are interchangeable, but whoever grabs the lion's share of that ecosystem will have considerable leverage over the other providers of hardware, software, and services that they enable.

Maybe I'm getting it wring, but I'm guessing that's in the minds of these vendors. They're fighting to see who owns the glue that will cobble together the Internet of Things. Whoever owns that will have leverage, in the coming decades. Or maybe I just watched too much sic-fi, or sat through too many tech conferences?

I still can't see a reason to develop Cortana on a platform that isn't Windows.....

Rating: 2 Votes
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10 months ago
Still don't trust her after she tried taking over the galaxy.
Rating: 2 Votes
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10 months ago
I downloaded it, and Cortana very politely asked me to allow her access to my personal information, and for permission to use it in any way she sees fit. At which point I politely deleted her from my phone.
Rating: 2 Votes
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10 months ago
Why?
Rating: 2 Votes
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