Do you remember Cortana? No, not the wonder voice from the Halo series; we are discussing the quirky voice assistant that comes alive whenever you boot up a new Windows 10 machine. If you loved Cortana and its services on your phone, there’s some sad news. Microsoft has pulled the plug off on Cortana for iOS and Android devices, without giving any major reasons for the same. Also Read - Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 launched: Intel, AMD options offered
The Cortana voice assistant app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store is no more available to download. Sadly, we can’t comment on Cortana’s functionality after this update as none of our devices had the Cortana app installed prior to this. However, Windows 10 will continue to feature Cortana as the native voice assistant of the OS. Also Read - Microsoft could hold major gaming event this month: Here's what we know
Cortana bids goodbye to Android, iOS
Cortana was Microsoft’s attempt at nabbing a share of the smart voice assistant market and to challenge the domination of Google’s Assistant. Cortana initially made it to Windows Phone 10 devices and was later introduced to Android as well as iOS. Also Read - Microsoft will soon allow all Xbox users to play free-to-play multiplayer games without a Gold membership
While Microsoft does not state the reason for withdrawing the voice assistant from these mobile platforms, it seems that Cortana couldn’t stand against the competition from Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Siri. The advent of smart speakers running these assistants may also have contributed to the withdrawal of Cortana.
Back in July 2020, Microsoft confirmed the plans for withdrawing Cortana from mobile platforms. At the time, Microsoft said that it wants to shift Cortana’s focus to Microsoft 365 apps, helping users as an AI assistant.
Those relying on Cortana would no longer be able to access Lists and Reminders functions via the Cortana app. Lists and Reminders will continue to be available on devices running Windows 10. Additionally, these can also be accessed via the Microsoft To-Do app, which is still available on Android and iOS.
It remains to be seen whether Microsoft eventually ends up pulling the plug on Cortana in the future years. We have previously seen Microsoft discontinuing the Windows Phone 10 platform after it failed to stand up to the dominant Android and iOS platforms. Cortana now becomes exclusive to the Windows 10 platform, similar to how Siri is for iOS.
This development now leaves the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa as two only two voice assistants that can run on the most popular platforms.