(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft's personal assistant feature, Cortana, is coming to iPhone, and you'll be able to start testing soon.
Microsoft wants iPhone users to try an early version of Cortana for iOS. It's been internally testing the app for six months internally and is ready to let others give it a go: "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."
So, keep reading to learn more about the first public release of the Cortana for iOS beta, including how to sign up for the beta, where it's opening up, and which features will be available during testing.
What is Cortana?
Cortana is Microsoft's Siri-like assistant. It can help you find things on your Windows PC and mobile devices, as well as manage your calendar, track packages, find files, chat with you, tell jokes, etc. Cortana also tailors results to you over time. You can learn more about the feature here.
Is Cortana Windows-only?
Cortana is native to the Windows platform, so that's where it has the most functionality, but Microsoft announced last May that it would also bring Cortana to iPhone and Android devices as an app. Six months later, on 4 November, Microsoft confirmed it would begin accepting sign ups for the Cortana iOS beta. You must be a Windows Insider in order to submit your interest in testing the Cortana iOS beta.
How do you become a Windows Insider?
Microsoft's Windows Insider program allows you to sign up for early builds of the Windows operating system and other software builds previously only accessible to developers. The idea is that anyone can join and be a part of the ongoing process of improving Windows products. You can learn more about the Windows Insider program as well as join from here.
How do you join the Cortana iOS beta?
Microsoft is looking for a "limited number of people" to test an early version of the app. Also, over the coming months, Microsoft plans to deliver updates to the app that'll expand its features and functionality. If you're interested in getting early access, fill out this short survey. Microsoft sill start sending out download links via email in the coming weeks.
Where is the Cortana iOS beta available?
The beta will only available in the US and China.
Is the Cortana iOS beta fully-featured?
No. According to Microsoft, some Cortana features on Windows don't yet work with iPhones (like saying "Hey Cortana" to wake it up).