Cortana For Android, iOS Coming Very Soon, Windows 10 To Sync With iPhones, Android
Microsoft is wisely pursuing an aggressive cross-platform strategy.
Microsoft is making Windows 10 cross-device friendly. To that end the new operating system will work with Android and the iPhone to sync and make content available across all devices simultaneously. This is both smart and strategic for the company.
Redmond has announced a new Phone Companion app within Windows 10 that will connect PCs to mobile devices, regardless of OS:
That’s why we’re announcing a ‘Phone Companion’ app built-in to Windows 10, which will help you connect your Windows PC to whatever phone you own– whether it’s a Windows phone, Android phone, or iPhone.
Apple offers something similar with its Continuity feature. However that doesn’t work with non-Apple devices.
In addition to putting Cortana on Windows 10 PCs, as previously reported Microsoft formally announced a Cortana app for Android and iOS:
Today, we’re announcing a Cortana application for Android phones and for iPhones which works as a companion to Cortana on your Windows 10 PC. The ‘Phone Companion’ app on the PC will help you install the Cortana app from the Google Play or Apple App Store onto your phone so you’ll be able to take the intelligence of Cortana with you, wherever you go.
Microsoft says that the Android version of Cortana will be available “at the end of June.” The iPhone version won’t be available until “later this year.” Cortana is also integrated into Microsoft’s new Edge browser.
Google previously said the company wasn’t concerned about Cortana on Android devices. For one thing it won’t have the level of device integration that Google Voice search and Google Now do. I’m hoping that Cortana on the iPhone will be genuinely powerful and “threatening” to motivate Apple to invest more in Siri to make “her” more effective.
Cortana is powered in part by Bing and so Cortana on Android and iOS is another way to get Bing and Bing search results in front non Microsoft smartphone users.
Postscript By Danny Sullivan: One of the primary ways that Cortana learns how to predict and suggest information someone might want is by scanning email on their Windows devices. This means in order to do the same on iOS and Android, it would ideally scan email on those devices. However, it’s unclear that it will be able to do so.
Microsoft does offer its Outlook mail app for iOS and Android. Cortana presumably would integrate with that, reading email sent into Outlook. But many on iOS and Android will use the iOS Mail or Android Gmail apps, instead. It’s not clear if Cortana will tap into those apps.
We’ve asked Microsoft for more about this, but it referred us back to its blog post today, which doesn’t cover it. It also didn’t answer whether the restriction that prevents Cortana from interacting with any Yahoo Mail account has been or will be lifted.