Microsoft is planning to integrate its AI assistant Cortana directly into the Outlook mobile apps on iOS and Android, according to people familiar with the company's plans speaking with The Verge. Cortana currently offers various email-related actions and commands on supported devices, but the assistant can not be called up within Outlook on smartphones.

the verge cortana outlook

Image by Tom Warren via The Verge

With the addition of Cortana, Outlook users will be able to hear their emails read aloud and respond to them with their voice. Details are still scarce, but the sources said that command phrases will include asking Cortana "What's my email," or asking to read recent emails from a specific contact.

The Cortana integration will allow users of the popular mobile email client to listen to and respond to emails with their voice. This will be particularly useful during car journeys, and Microsoft is testing Cortana integration directly within Outlook mobile that will work over Bluetooth and read messages aloud. Users will be able to ask Cortana phrases like “what’s my email,” or just to read messages from specific contacts.

The most recent Cortana-related iOS news saw the AI assistant's iOS app gain native iPad support last month. Prior to that, Microsoft updated Cortana's iPhone app last October with a revamped interface and improved performance.

Microsoft and Google each have apps dedicated to their AI assistants on the iOS App Store, aimed as competitors to Siri. The main limitation of the non-Apple assistants is that they lack system-wide functionality on iPhones and iPads, and can only work within their own apps.

Right now, the Cortana Outlook update is being tested internally within Microsoft and "if the feedback is positive," then it will make its way to beta and public releases of Outlook on iOS and Android.

Top Rated Comments

HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
39 months ago
"Hey Siri, ask Cortana to ask Alexa when we might get a new iPad Mini"

"I don't know what iPad Mini means. Here's what I found on the web"
"Fool. That product is dead. But here's links to the amazing (more) magical Surface Pro XXL 3D Deluxe+"
"Apple has lost interest in iPad Mini. But here's 5 new Kindle tablets in that size for less than $150."


"Could the 3 of you harmonize "Because" by the Beatles?"

"I don't know what Because by the Beatles is. Here's what I found on the web."
"Fool. Don't be trying to listen to distracting music. Here's links to the amazing, now even more magical Surface Pro 3 XXXL 4K Deluxe++"
"I can take any part of the 3-part harmony but these other 2 assistants don't have a clue. So I suggest buying Abbey Road at Amazon.com and enjoying the original."


"Could the 3 of you tell me your best joke?"

"I don't know what best joke is. Here's what I found on the web"
"Fool. No time for humor. The new Surface Pro 5 XXX-XXL 5K Deluxe+++ is just out. Order now"
"3 Virtual Assistants make their way into an iDevice. One says "there's a Musca domestica in my soup." Another responds: "If you had the new Surface Super-Pro Fantasma Cubed, you would know what to do in this situation." The third: "I don't know what musca domestica is, but here's some web results for muscles from the dominican republic." Bixby hacks in (late) adding "The Walrus was Paul." The first one then comes back and suggests that the user give up on technology and embrace an Amish lifestyle.

All ;)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
39 months ago
"Hey Siri, ask Cortana to ask Alexa when we might get a new iPad Mini"

"I don't know what iPad Mini means. Here's what I found on the web"
"Fool. That product is dead. But here's links to the amazing (more) magical Surface Pro XXL 3D Deluxe+"
"Apple has lost interest in iPad Mini. But here's 5 new Kindle tablets in that size for less than $150."


"Could the 3 of you harmonize "Because" by the Beatles?"

"I don't know what Because by the Beatles is. Here's what I found on the web."
"Fool. Don't be trying to listen to distracting music. Here's links to the amazing, now even more magical Surface Pro 3 XXXL 4K Deluxe++"
"I can take any part of the 3-part harmony but these other 2 assistants don't have a clue. So I suggest buying Abbey Road at Amazon.com and enjoying the original."


"Could the 3 of you tell me your best joke?"

"I don't know what best joke is. Here's what I found on the web"
"Fool. No time for humor. The new Surface Pro 5 XXX-XXL 5K Deluxe+++ is just out. Order now"
"3 Virtual Assistants make their way into an iDevice. One says "there's a Musca domestica in my soup." Another responds: "If you had the new Surface Super-Pro Fantasma Cubed, you would know what to do in this situation." The third: "I don't know what musca domestica is, but here's some web results for muscles from the dominican republic. Bixby hacks in saying "The Walrus was Paul." The first one then comes back and suggests that the user give up on technology and embrace an Amish lifestyle.

All ;)
"Hey, Cortana, ask Alexa how the weather is going to be today."

"Alexa, house heather knowing me to play?"

"Here is the atomic structure of ether:

"
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kplayaja Avatar
39 months ago
WORD?!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ericg301 Avatar
39 months ago
Meh. Every few months I download Outlook and give it a ride to see how it's been iterated. Seems like MS is doubling down on integrations with Skype and now Cortana rather than fine-tuning what could be a 1st class email client. Still no HTML signatures. Still no way to toggle accounts on/off (have to completely remove it). Calendar is severely lacking. Only thing it has going for it, IMO, is its Apple Watch app. Otherwise I stick with Inbox.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
albert421 Avatar
39 months ago
I’m at a Microsoft tech event in DC right now. And they just demo us this feature about an hour ago.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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