Microsoft Is Bringing Cortana to Android & iPhone Devices

One of the best things about owning a Windows Phone device is Cortana — the personal assistant that absolutely blows Apple’s Siri out of the water.

Cortana is not only a voice-activated search feature, but she can also set important reminders, send text messages or even make phone calls.

And she does it in a way that feels unique and personal and not like you’re simply talking to a stiff machine that gives you simple answers.

I fell in love with Cortana when she was first released on my Windows Phone 8.1 device and was beyond excited to see Microsoft implementing her in the upcoming Windows 10 operating system.

Say what you want about Windows Phone as a mobile operating system, but do not deny Cortana and how she became the must-have feature of Windows Phone.

Today, Microsoft has announced that Cortana will be coming to Android and iPhone devices as an app, with her search features fully intact and even pop-up notification reminders.

And this is both a horrible and excellent move on Microsoft’s behalf.

Let’s start out with the good first:

Making Cortana cross-platform is a big step for Microsoft and an even better idea in terms of truly making Windows 10 a universal experience to be had across literally all devices, no matter the actual operating system.

Windows 10 has a lot of making up to do after Windows 8 left such a sour taste in consumers’ mouths and making Cortana widely available is a smart move and one that will most-likely pay off in the long run.

It will also help Microsoft test and improve the app on a much larger scale, with the help of Android and iOS users mixed in with current Windows Phone users.

Now that’s great and all for Microsoft’s operating system and app building moving forward, but this announcement is also a nail in the coffin for Windows Phone or soon-to-be Windows 10 Mobile.

Windows Phone has always struggled as the distant third mobile operating system, despite being fast, unique and battery efficient.

The one big thing that finally set them apart was Cortana. She’s been the highlight of basically every single commercial promoting Windows Phone, because live tiles and Microsoft integration can only go so far, especially with Microsoft bringing popular apps such as Word, Office and Outlook to iOS and Android, sometimes with even better functionality.

Cortana was the last true defense when it came to talking up Windows Phone to a potential buyer, because she’s that good and that helpful.

And now she’ll soon be available on iOS and Android with mostly the same features.

Sure, she won’t be baked deep into the OS or allowed extensive app permissions, but for the common folk she’ll be more than enough when it comes to opening an app and setting reminders, searching for something or doing whatever it is that you’re too lazy to type out.

And heck, maybe Android and Apple will someday let users customize certain buttons or features on their phones to access Cortana over Google Now or Siri. Probably not, but you never know.

Now, trying to sell someone on Windows Phone will be even harder, because Cortana won’t be special anymore. I’m sure the native Windows Phone version will always be the true winner, but people aren’t as picky as one would expect.

Apps come first and then user experience and Android and Apple have a hard grip on that first one, with Microsoft competing for number two at a neck-and-neck pace.

Microsoft is trying hard to close that app gap, but it’ll be awhile before they get all of the big apps and keep the developers updating them and by that point iPhone and Android users will already have Cortana on their phones and see no need to switch.

I applaud Microsoft for making a bold move bringing Cortana across platforms and devices, but I also question their commitment to Windows 10 Mobile and not just Windows 10, which is supposed to bring an equal share and experience across all of their devices, including their phones.

Also, here’s a video detailing the ability to connect and integrate an iPhone or Android with a Windows 10 computer, which use to be another flagship defense for owning a Windows Phone.



Source : Windows Central

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