Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant is coming to iPhone and Android

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Your eyes do not deceive you: It's Cortana on Android(Credit: Microsoft)

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Microsoft has announced that it intends to bring Cortana to iOS and Android devices later this year. Up until now the digital assistant app has been restricted to Windows Phone devices, but, as we already knew, it will also be extending its reach across desktops and laptops when Windows 10 launches to the public in the next few months.

It's a move that's been widely predicted as Microsoft focuses on getting its products out to as many platforms as possible: the company's flagship Office suite of apps has also appeared on Apple and Google-powered handsets in the last few months. This multiple-device approach is epitomized by Windows 10, which is coded to run the same apps across computers, smartphones, tablets and the Xbox One.

"... many people use iPhones or Android phones, and we want them to enjoy some of their Windows experience and content while away from their Windows 10 PC," says Microsoft's Joe Belfiore in a blog post. The Android release is slated for the end of June with the iOS version following "later this year."

Just like on Windows Phone, you'll be able to ask questions of Cortana through iOS and Android. Notifications are going to be supported, so you can set up reminders to get milk or check up on your flight status. Your Cortana notebooks will also be synced across all platforms.

Phone companion

The Cortana app rollout is part of a new Phone Companion service arriving with Windows 10 – it's designed to get iPhones and Android phones working smoothly with the likes of OneDrive and Microsoft's Music app. It's distinctly different from Apple's approach, which doesn't make any apps for competing mobile platforms, and a bit more like Google's cross-platform approach.

Most of Cortana's smart functionality will be carried over to the iOS and Android apps, but because it's not going to have the deep integration it enjoys on Windows Phone, you won't be able to launch apps or toggle settings using the personal assistant.

There's no official release date for Windows 10 yet but it could come as early as July. While you wait, the video below shows Joe Belfiore explaining how the operating system will hook up with your smartphone, whatever platform it happens to be running.

Source: Windows Blog

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