Earlier this year in May, Microsoft had promised to bring its digital personal assistant Cortana on both Android and iOS platforms. After a few beta releases, Cortana is now available to download from Google s Play Store and Apple s App Store. Along with Android and iOS, Microsoft is also bringing Cortana to Cyanogen, where it gets deeper integration. Also Read - Windows 11 could be a free upgrade for you provided you fall in this categoryAlso Read - Nintendo Direct E3 2021: Metroid Dread, Mario Party Superstars, a new Legend of Zelda and more
As a part of initial rollout, the app is only available for users in the US and China, with more regions to follow soon. While we ve seen some of the previous builds of the app, the final release version gets some UI overhaul. Also Read - Windows 11 leaked online: Centralised start menu, revamped UI, new widgets, here's what to expect
To begin with, the Cortana app on Windows 10, Android, iOS and Windows 10 Mobile share a similar UI. On the top left, you have the hamburger menu, followed by information cards and a search box at the bottom. In the search box, you can either type your queries or tap on the mic to speak, which is located on the bottom right corner.
The information cards display updates on weather information, sport scores of teams you follow, your appointments and it can even track packages. To an extent, the cards are similar to what Google Now offers. In order to use Cortana, you ll need to login using your Microsoft Account. It will sync all your settings and interests on all Cortana-enabled devices, be it your PC, smartphone or tablet.
However, there are some differences in the way Cortana app works on iOS and Android compared to that on Windows 10 devices. Due to API availability and restrictions, Android and iOS do not support changing settings or opening apps. While Hey Cortana activation works on Android home screen, system-wide support is missing. On the other hand, iOS version doesn t support Hey Cortana voice activation.
On Android and Windows 10 Mobile OS, when you get a missed called, Cortana on Windows 10 PC will tell you about the same. That s not all, you can even write an SMS to reply the caller, right from your PC.
Earlier this year, Microsoft partnered with Android ROM vendor, Cyanogen. We learned earlier that Microsoft s Cortana will come deeply integrated in to Cyanogen OS, but how exactly that would work, was a mystery. Microsoft has now clarified things on its blog, giving a gist of how things will work on handsets with Cyanogen OS. The company mentioned that a special version of Cortana for Android will be rolling out to OnePlus One later this month, with other Cyanogen devices to follow early next year.
The Cyanogen version of Cortana won t have any API restrictions, like the Play Store counterpart. It will not only support Hey Cortana activation from any screen, but also let users control settings, such as activating quiet mode, toggle Wi-Fi / Bluetooth On and Off, and much more.