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.

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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
73 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
73 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
73 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
73 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)

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