Microsoft is testing a version of its Cortana app for iOS and Android devices that features a major interface overhaul and new features, according to Windows Central.

The updated app, which is being tested by beta testers, features a user interface that's focused on conversational experiences with Cortana, along with support for music and podcast suggestions, and a focus on setting reminders, timers, and meetings.

cortanaappuiupdates
For those unfamiliar with Cortana, it is Microsoft's personal assistant, available on Microsoft devices and other devices through iOS and Android apps. It is equivalent to Apple's Siri, Samsung's Bixby, and Google's Google Assistant.

Full release notes for the new features in the current beta are below:

- An update to the UI enabling conversational experiences with Cortana and a new place to manage and set up your Cortana devices

- Listen to music and podcasts on the go. Just ask Cortana to play your favorite tunes and podcasts with Spotify, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn on your phone or through a paired Bluetooth device

- Stay organized and on task. Set reminders, timers and create meetings with your voice

- Join your next Skype or Teams meeting by simply asking Cortana. You can also manage your calendar or send a quick email by voice

Following the beta testing period for the app, the new features with the redesigned interface will roll out to the official Cortana for iOS app. Cortana for iOS can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

BaccaBossMC Avatar
37 months ago
They could discontinue the Cortana app, or Cortana altogether, and everyone would be better off as R&D resources could be spent on something more useful, such as ensuring future versions of Windows don't delete everyone's files.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
37 months ago
Remind me why I care.

Siri is very convenient - I can use her without having to add and launch another app. But it doesn't make up for the fact that she's not intelligent or useful.

Cortana is maybe slightly more intelligent, but again, not convenient. Seems not useful.

Why are all these systems voice based? Why not make them touch or text based?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
srminton Avatar
37 months ago
Remind me why I care.

Siri is very convenient - I can use her without having to add and launch another app. But it doesn't make up for the fact that she's not intelligent or useful.

Cortana is maybe slightly more intelligent, but again, not convenient. Seems not useful.

Why are all these systems voice based? Why not make them touch or text based?
It's really for MSFT diehards who are only using an iPhone due to the lack of a Windows Phone alternative and aren't happy about it. Everyone else will either use Siri because it's built-in to the phone at system level, which makes it way more convenient and capable, or not use a voice assistant at all. It's not even like Cortana is significantly better than Siri, in the way you can argue that Alexa is. Even then, it would have to be at least 10 times better to make it worthwhile, given that all it's really good for without system access is searching the web and controlling its own app. (Again, unlike Alexa, which people will use to do things like control their smart home devices and speakers).
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kangastu Avatar
37 months ago
Opening an app to use a voice assistant seems really pointless to me? If it’s not native and at your call seems like a waste of time?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
Apple watch series 5 new case material made of titanium 091019

Titanium Apple Watch Series 6 Models Currently Widely Unavailable

Sunday August 1, 2021 6:21 am PDT by
Models of the Apple Watch Series 6 with titanium cases part of the "Apple Watch Edition" collection is currently widely unavailable for pick-up in several of Apple's retail stores in the United States and is unavailable entirely for delivery in major markets. Noted by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, titanium models of the Apple Watch Series 6,...
ifixit iphone12 mini

Apple to Make Space for Larger Batteries in iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks By Adopting Slimmer Peripheral Chips

Monday August 2, 2021 2:12 am PDT by
For future iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks, Apple plans to use smaller internal components in an effort to increase the size of the device's battery, according to DigiTimes. Image Credit: iFixit Specifically, Apple plans to "significantly increase the adoption" of IPDs or integrated passive devices for the peripheral chips in its products. These news chips will be slimmer in size and allow for...
Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature

Unreleased Apple Macs and Apple Watches Listed in Eurasian Database Ahead of Fall Product Launches

Monday August 2, 2021 9:34 am PDT by
Apple is preparing for a slew of fall product launches according to new filings that showed up today in the Eurasian Economic Commission database. There are listings for new Mac and Apple Watch models, all of which have previously unknown model identifiers that indicate that they're upcoming devices. There are six new Apple Watch identifiers, including A2473, A2474, A2475, A2476, A2477, and...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...
iPhone 13 Wi Fi 6E feature update

Wi-Fi 6E Explained: What It Could Mean for iPhone 13 and Beyond

Monday August 2, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 is widely expected to come with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and while it may seem rather nuanced to the average consumer, with only improved speeds and being "up to date" in the realm of Wi-Fi technology, it's actually a fairly significant improvement, laying the groundwork for much of what we know the future holds. To truly understand Wi-Fi 6E, MacRumors sat down for an exclusive...
youtube premium lite

YouTube Tests Cheaper 'Premium Lite' Subscription for Ad-Free Viewing

Monday August 2, 2021 3:22 am PDT by
YouTube is piloting a new cheaper subscription tier in Europe called "Premium Lite," which offers ad-free viewing minus YouTube Premium's other features. First spotted by a user on ResetEra and subsequently confirmed by Google, the "Lite" plan means users who aren't interested in offline downloads or background playback can still enjoy YouTube videos on web and mobile app without being...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
COVID19 Digital Wallet Apple Wallet

Australian Government Now Offering COVID-19 Digital Vaccination Certificates for Apple Wallet

Monday August 2, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
The Australian government has introduced support for adding COVID-19 vaccination digital certificates to Apple Wallet via the Express Plus Medicare app on iOS. Image credit: Tap Down Under As spotted by Tap Down Under, users who have received two doses of either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine now have access to the digital certificate through their Medicare online account or via the Medica...