08 June 2016
Cortana is no longer a dedicated voice-activated personal assistant for Windows as the app is now also available for iPhone and Android devices. Wait! What did you just hear? Did you get the answer for, Is Cortana coming to Android? Really? Well, yes but for only select iPhone and Android devices, of course, you probably be waiting for a ‘but’ to come. That’s being said, but the Cortana app can now be used in iPhone and Android devices running iOS 8 or above and Android 4.0 or above. That’s not the only hitch that could hinder the use of this app. Cortana doesn’t have her strong powers for Android and iPhone devices as she has for Windows. Cortana will just work as a "Phone companion," if a user has Windows 10 PC. And that too is applicable with Android devices. The "Hey Cortana" is also not present for these two platforms but, however, can be availed in Cyanogen 12.1.1 powered devices. That’s the other area to discuss later, but she has some perks for Android users who use Windows 10 PC for their work. Cortana is able to send notifications from your Windows 10 PC to Android devices.
Cortana app comes with the same intelligence as Cortana on your PC. She has the ability to look up the desired information for you and give helpful suggestions. Cortana is the first personal digital assistant introduced by Microsoft to help you complete tasks across your devices, from PC to phone and of course, vice-versa. And now, the company wants to make their app a cross-platform service so as to help other devices also with different ecosystems.
Windows through their official blog listed the number of tasks Cortana could do in iPhones and Android devices. You can set a location-based reminder on one device and have it pop up on your smartphone when you arrive at that location. You can also set reminders, to-dos for your important tasks. For example, you can tell Cortana to help you out at the time you’re at a grocery store by setting a reminder.
Those who have Windows 10 PC with them will never miss any a phone call. For example, if a user is in a meeting and can’t answer the call, Cortana will take care of the missed calls and give them an alert in their PCs letting them know that they missed a call. However, the missed call alert feature would only work if a user has a Windows 10 PC with him. Cortana can also send a text back letting a caller know that the user will call them later. You can also track your flights, packages and more using Cortana on both your phone and your PC. You can then get the updates on either of these devices.
Now, these were some of the features currently available with Cortana for iPhones and Android devices but there are few things that aren’t present in either of these platforms and are only been seen in Windows phones. This includes an ability to invoke Cortana hands-free by saying “Hey Cortana,” toggling settings or opening apps without touching the device. So, to sum up, Microsoft is telling you that for now Cortana will work only as a Phone Companion app that indeed needs Windows 10 PC.
However, Microsoft announces a more integrated experience to enable Cortana’s voice activation ‘Hey Cortana’ on Cyanogen devices. So, you can call her while on any screen, or when you’re immersed in an app. The custom integration includes the ability to ask Cortana to toggle network modes, power down your phone, and turn on Quiet Mode. The last mode silences all notifications, calls and alarms when activated. The integration provided to Cyanogen based devices only was due to the close partnership of Microsoft.
Cortana app is available today in the US and China for iPhone on OS8 and up and Android 4.1.2. It will also available in the US on OnePlus One powered by Cyanogen OS with the 12.1.1 over the air update later in Dec. Download here.