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Microsoft announces Cortana for Android and iOS smartphones

by Mark Tyson on 27 May 2015, 10:01

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Windows 10

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacroj

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Microsoft's Joe Belfiore has written a blog post outlining how Windows 10 will connect and work with "all the devices you own". From your three year old printer to your brand new Miracast enabled TV, Windows 10 will work with a huge array of different devices. The idea goes beyond dumb peripherals: thus Microsoft aims to make better and more meaningful connections to one of the most important pieces of personal technology, your smartphone.

Phone Companion app

Yesterday Belfiore announced the Phone Companion app for Windows 10. This new app will make your smartphone "work great in conjunction with your Windows 10 PC". Of course Microsoft couldn’t ignore the majority of smartphones out there, to be truly useful this app will support Android and iOS smartphones as well as its home grown variety of smartphones.

The result of the Microsoft's Phone Companion app working together with your smartphone will be that; all your photos will be cloud synced with your PC via OneDrive, your phone will be able to stream music from OneDrive music files/playlists, Your OneNote docs will be available wherever you are and your Office documents will be available and editable from any of your devices.

Cortana for Android and iOS smartphones

Windows 10 will benefit from the "deep integration" of the Cortana personal assistant, well known to many Windows Phone users. Microsoft recognises that a personal assistant is of greater benefit when you can access it on the go so the Phone Companion app will direct users of non-Windows smartphone to install the newly announced Cortana app from the Google Play or Apple App Store.

Due to its 'just an app' nature on Android and iOS Cortana can't offer as broad a range of assistant duties as on Windows Phones and PCs (for now). An example given is the hands-free invoking of Cortana because of special microphone permissions on other smartphones. Nevertheless Android and iOS users will be able to ask Cortana to remind them to get some Blu-tack next time they are near Rymans etc, and Cortana's notebook and changes to it will show up across all your devices.

These newly announced features will be available in a new Windows 10 Insider Preview build "we'll flight out in a few weeks," says Microsoft's Belfiore. The associated Cortana software will be available for Android from the end of June and iOS smartphones "later this year". An updated Xbox Music app for Android and iOS will appear by July to allow OneDrive music playback.

More device partners to offer pre-installed Microsoft services

In March we heard about Microsoft teaming up with Samsung, Dell and several regional manufacturers - so that these device makers would include pre-installed Microsoft Office and Skype on Android tablets. Yesterday Microsoft expanded that partner list with an additional 20 partners. New big-name partners include LG and Sony with some others you might have heard of like Cube, Haier and Prestigio on the list.

HEXUS Forums :: 12 Comments

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Wish they would not refer to it as a personal assistant……it keeps conjuring the image of a certain talking paperclip……..
Got to be honest and ask why I'd prefer this over Google now on my droid? It quite happily takes reminders and knows my route home to show me traffic updates. What's so much better with cortana? (Also I hate that name - why name it after an AI from a game. Doesn't shout professional to me - then again neither does Siri).
I am sure there are a number of people that will use it over “Google Now” just because Google are evil and spying on them all the time…….

I will be sticking with Now though, I really like how it's evolved and like nearly everything mobile, Microsoft are a couple of years late to the party and have to play catch-up…..

As to why Microsoft decided to release it……….I don't know but then I had no idea why Apple released Safari for Windows, I am sure it sounded a good idea to at least one person in a board meeting.
To me Cortana is massively better, but thats purely as it actually seem to understand those of us who don't officially exist (live north of the watford gap).

Does seem odd to release it on other devices, reminds me of bbm going to other devices, bbm was the only reason many I knew had a blackberry.
Ive just been playing with Google Now - very frustrating - instead of opening an app or doing something useful, it just does a search. Much prefer Siri, although that has its flaws too. TBH, non of them offer a really useful hands free facility.