Microsoft earlier announced that it’ll be making its personal digital voice assistant Cortana available for internal testing on iOS. And now the Windows maker has lived up to that promise as a handful of users who signed up for the trial have started getting emails that the iOS version of Cortana is now available for download.
The original survey suggested that Cortana for iOS would be available to those in the U.S. and China, but the survey itself was essentially aimed at U.S. testers. “We want help from our Windows Insiders to make sure she’s a great personal assistant on iOS too… We’re looking for a limited number of people to get their hands on an early version of the app,” said Microsoft.
The first beta version of Cortana for iOS can be downloaded via Apple’s TestFlight app. Hence, only a small number of users will get to test it initially as TestFlight releases are usually limited. The beta version of Cortana for iOS offers voice-enabled assistance along with functions such as tracking flights, stocks, setting reminders, managing your schedule and more.
It is worth pointing out that Microsoft already made it clear that some of Cortana’s features on Windows do not yet work with iPhones (like saying “Hey Cortana” to wake it up), implying the preview version of Cortana for iOS is not fully-featured. Even an Android version of the app was made available for testing back in August, which has also been deprived certain key features compared to how it performs on its ‘native’ Windows OS.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is also reportedly planning to bring Cortana in cars. And the company has already confirmed that it has built a prototype of connected cars using Cortana, which has the ability to detect and respond to voice-based commands. A Microsoft spokesperson explained that the Cortana-connected prototype would have a windscreen integrated with a navigation system, allowing drivers to see nearby locations and perform tasks such as navigation, making restaurant reservations, etc.