Microsoft confirmed today that its voice-controlled assistant, Cortana, will live not just on Windows Phone and Windows 10, but available for Android and iOS as well.
From their Windows blog:
The Cortana app can do most of the things Cortana does on your PC or on a Windows phone. You can have Cortana remind you to pick up milk the next time you’re at the grocery store, and then your phone will wake up and buzz with the reminder. You’ll be able to track a flight using Cortana on both your phone and your PC, and get the updates on the device that you’re on so you don’t miss anything. Everything in Cortana’s Notebook will show up across all your devices and any changes you make on one device will be reflected when you use Cortana on any of your other devices. The Cortana companion app will help you complete tasks you begin on your PC wherever you are, on your phone. Want to see more? Watch the video below for a demo:
Microsoft notes that some features, such as toggling settings or opening apps, won't work on the other mobile platforms because Cortana wouldn't have access to the system. That also goes for saying "Hey Cortana" to start it hands-free, unfortunately.
Those limitations aside, I think this is another notable sign that Microsoft is really committed to the idea of universal apps and a seamless experience between mobile and desktop. Besides Windows 10 being designed for both Windows phones and PCs, Microsoft recently announced iOS and Android developers would be able to port their apps directly to Windows 10. Heck, Microsoft even develops Android apps. The line is blurring between Microsoft's proprietary technology and other ecosystems.
That said, Microsoft is still pushing its own solutions. Along with the Cortana announcement, Microsoft also introduced a Phone Companion app for Windows 10, which will help set up your phone--whether it's a Windows Phone, an Android phone, or an iPhone--to keep your files and content in sync. Basically, though, it looks like this Windows app simply sets up OneDrive, OneNote, Skype, Office, and Outlook on your mobile device and then keeps your files synced through those apps. It looks like there will be better integration, as well as a new syncing of music from the Windows Music app to OneDrive, but everything is tied into Windows 10 and Microsoft's core products.
As someone who uses both Android and iPhone, Windows and Mac, I'm glad to see Microsoft moving in this direction.
Cortana will be available on Android at the end of June and for iPhone "later this year."