Microsoft’s digital voice assistant, inspired by the Halo character who has the ability to learn and adapt – Cortana is going cross-platform and will now be available on iOS and Android devices. The app will also be available on Windows phones, tablets and desktops when Windows 10 launches this summer, Microsoft confirmed in an official blog post.
As per the blog post, Cortana will be available on third-party phones as a separate app that will be a part of the ‘Phone Companion app that’ll be bundled’ with Windows 10. The app will allow Android and iOS devices to work and will prompt users to download Cortana from their respective app stores.
“The ‘Phone Companion’ app on the PC will help you install the Cortana app from the Google Play or Apple App Store onto your phone so you’ll be able to take the intelligence of Cortana with you, wherever you go,” corporate vice president Joe Belfiore explained in the post.
Cortana for iOS and Android will offer all the features that it gets on Windows 10. The blog post mentions several examples as to how Cortana will remind users to pick up groceries based on their geographic location to tracking flights, to setting up reminders and alarms. Essentially, it’ll function the same way it does on Windows.
In addition, whatever changes a user makes in Cortana’s Notebook, will be synced across all the devices.
“Everything in Cortana’s Notebook will show up across all your devices and any changes you make on one device will be reflected when you use Cortana on any of your other devices. The Cortana companion app will help you complete tasks you begin on your PC wherever you are, on your phone,” reads the blog post.
Meanwhile, Cortana isn’t the only Windows app that’ll come bundled with the Phone Companion app. It also gets support for OneDrive, Office 365, Skype, OneNote, Outlook along with the Music app.
It’ll be interesting to see how Cortana eventually works on both the platforms. As iOS is much more locked down with its cross-app support, while Android, on the other hand, offers much more flexibility. One example is Facebook chat bubbles, on Android they can float over any active apps whereas iOS you have to be in the Facebook app itself. Whether Cortana will outright replace Google Now and Siri, we can’t be sure of.