Android and iPhone users now have an alternative digital assistant option beyond Google Now and Siri. And it comes directly from Microsoft.
Following months of feedback provided by beta testers, Microsoft has officially launched the official Cortana app for iOS and Android in the US and China. Microsoft debuted Cortana last year as an exclusive for Windows Phone last year, but the service has since expanded to Windows 10 PCs and now smartphones on rival platforms.
Microsoft confirmed earlier this year that its digital assistant would soon arrive for Android and iOS. Cortana is native to the Windows 10 platform. The company, which released beta versions of Cortana for iOS and Android earlier this year, said the assistant would still offer plenty to Android and iOS users, including notifications for sports, flights, weather, etc
Anyone with an Android or iPhone phone could download and install the Corana beta on their devices - as long as they agreed to join Microsoft' Windows Insider program. It allows you to sign up for early builds of the Windows operating system and other software builds previously only accessible to developers. Learn more about it from here.
Many features from the Windows version of Cortana are available in the new Android and iOS versions, such as the ability to get location and time reminders across your PC and phone, as well as the ability to get notifications and send a text reply from your PC if you miss a call on your phone. You can even track packages flights, scores, stocks, etc.
The new apps aren't fully-featured though, meaning there are some things Cortana can do on Windows phones that isn’t currently possible elsewhere. According to Microsoft, this includes toggling settings or opening apps, as well as the ability to say “Hey Cortana" in order to launch the digital assistant.
But you can use always Cortana to get answers to all sorts of questions.