Microsoft has announced this week that Cortana will be available on Android and iOS devices. Currently, the ‘personal digital assistant’ is only available on Windows Phone, but this is the first time any of the main virtual assistant programs have jumped between operating systems.
There will be dedicated apps available in the Google Play Store, and the Apple App Store, that will give you pretty much the same capabilities as Windows Phone, such as reminders and flight tracking.
Unfortunately, not all of Cortana’s features will be included in the cross-platform version, because the software can’t easily integrate into the core of the operating systems, unlike the stock ones from Google (with Google Now) and Apple (Siri).
That means features like hands-free activation and the ability to launch apps directly will likely be missing.
Thankfully, the Cortana Notebook feature, which basically remembers your preferences and history, will be included.
Cortana Notebook is “a handy place on your Windows Phone 8.1 to store and tweak things that you tell her about yourself. It’s called Cortana’s Notebook, and it’s where she keeps track of what you like and what you’d like done”.
So if you use a Windows Phone and an Android device, all your preferences and person details should be synchronised automatically, that’s the theory anyway. Cortana is expected to arrive on Android towards the end of June, while the iPhone version is expected ‘later this year’ apparently.
Microsoft has also shared a few details of a new Phone Companion app for Window 10, to help keep your iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices in sync with your PC.
Phone Companion is built directly into Windows 10, the company’s new operating system that is expected to launch this summer. It basically provides an easier way to access existing features on every device, such as setting up Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage to work on your phone or tablet, whether it’s a Windows Phone device, Android or iOS.
You can watch a YouTube video of the Phone Companion app here.