Cortana voice assistant for Windows coming to Android, iPhone

Cortana, the voice command-drive personal assistant for Windows, is coming to Android smartphones in June or July 2015, and to iPhone “later this year”.

[Also read: Windows 10 editions unveiled]

That’s the word from Joe Belfiore, head of the operating systems group at Microsoft.

News that Microsoft’s rival to Apple’s Siri and “OK Google” will launch on their native platforms comes after it confirmed Cortana will come to the PC version of Windows 10.

“The Cortana app can do most of the things Cortana does on your PC or on a Windows phone,” said Belfiore, such as setting reminders and tracking flights.

“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.”

Microsoft Cortana for Android
Microsoft Cortana for Android

However, there will be a number of things Cortana can do on Windows Phone that will not be available on Android and iPhone.

“Some features require access to the system that isn’t currently possible with iOS or Android, so things like toggling settings or opening apps won’t initially be available in the Cortana companions for those platforms.”

It will also not be possible to invoke Cortana hands-free by saying “Hey Cortana”, as this requires special integration with the device’s microphone.

Windows 10 Companion App

Belfiore said a Cortana app will make its way to Android and iPhone as part of a larger announcement about the new “Phone Companion” application for Windows 10.

This will help Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone users set up their devices to connect to their Windows 10 PC.

“With a Windows phone, there’s nothing extra needed. But for an Android phone or iPhone you need to follow a few easy steps to get the right apps on your phone to make it work in conjunction with your Windows 10 PC.”

Those part of the Windows Insider Programme who are already beta testing Windows 10 can already try out the new Phone Companion app.

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Cortana voice assistant for Windows coming to Android, iPhone