Next step in the development of Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant for platforms other than Windows has taken now. After initially inviting applicants to apply to be a part of the closed beta testing program, followed by the beta version releases of the app to chosen applicants, Microsoft has actually released Cortana for iOS and Android onto Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.
Microsoft is well and truely commited to providing the Cortana experience on a real multi-platform basis. In addition to beinng available on the App Store and Play Store today, the team behind it is also working closely with the Cyanogen OS team to ensure that Cortana is deeply integrated into the Cyanogen OS-powered OnePlus One smartphone later in December. It will start to show with the Cyanogen 12.11 update that’s due to land very soon.
For those outside of Windows, interested in Cortana, and who have been ethentically following the development made to platforms won’t be a great deal new to interact with that wasn’t in the most recent beta versions. Cortana in its most basic form, will act as a very handy and capable assistant for simple tasks. Inside it, Microsoft has included the ability to track reminders and notifications for things like scheduled flights and incoming parcels. Something that will be available across all the supported platforms that Cortana is available on.
It also means that Siri and Google Now have some serious competition in their efforts to engage the casual users of such an assistant. Cortana gets the ability to track in a similar fashion to Siri and or Google Now by asking very explict questions. Quaestions like “what time is it?”, and “What’s the wather like in Los Angles?” are perfectly relevant and acceptable things to ask. Other features includes on a per platform basis. Features like “Hey Cortana” will only be available on Android due to Apple not allowing third-party access to this level of functionality on iOS, while “Hey Siri” sitting on it already.
The ‘Phone Companion’ app on your Windows 10 PC will help you install the Cortana app on both Android and iOS and available in the US and China for now. One of the great things about the Cyanogen OS integration is that Cortana will come pre-installed. No additional app download. No set up. Just out of the box functionality.