Cortana, Microsoft

Its official, Cortana has arrived on Android and iOS platforms. Microsoft is finally content with the testing results of the virtual assistant on the rival platforms. The company that once maintained an exclusivity tag is giving up to the pressure of the changing market.

Cortana was the standalone virtual assistant on Windows. But now it will be sharing the bytes of space with Siri on iOS and OK Google virtual assistant on Android.

As of now though, Cortana will be launched for the users in the US and China only. Microsoft might soon launch the app for other regions based on its success in the two countries.

Cortana could prove handy for the users who want to share data between a PC and smartphone. This could be one of the plus points for users to opt for Cortana. But compared to its Windows version, Cortana might not be an exact replica of her true self.

The launch of Cortana on rival platforms has been accomplished with the help of Cyanogen. Microsoft had earlier desired the help from Cyanogen and struck a fruitful partnership, one of its results is the development of Cortana for other platforms.

Marcus Ash, Microsoft’s Cortana program manager, told The Verge that

They’re going to take the Android base experience of Cortana and integrate it.

Android and iOS users can seek Cortana’s virtual calibre to set reminders, check for weather, flights, and other information that will help fast track their daily schedule. Android users have a slight advantage over those using Cortana on iOS devices. Using Cortana on Android, users can reply to missed calls with a text message.

This feature is not available on iOS devices due to developer restrictions. While all this seems to be for the regular version of Cortana, the Cyanogen version is also on the cards and this one can accomplish a lot more. In the Cyanogen version one can wake up Cortana using the command “Hey Cortana”. The other perks of this version include powering a device, choosing silent mode, and different network settings and other features.

The reason for lack of full features of Cortana on the Android and iOS platforms has to do with restrictions imposed on the developers. For those wishing to experience the entire features of Cortana, either Windows or the Cyanogen version seems to be the only bet for now.

We start with some of the communication scenarios, and think about how we can do more of those,

adds Ash.

Cortana for Android and iOS is still in its nascent stage and might take some time before users can take advantage of its array of features. Soon to be introduced is a task continuation feature into Cortana, where in users can share data across multiple devices and resume their activities by syncing activity across the platforms.

You’ll see us do some really interesting work there. With a Windows 10 PC in the mix we think we can do some pretty powerful things.

Cortana’s debut on the platforms was first made public back in August and the company began testing out a beta version on the iOS platform last month.


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