Microsoft to bring Cortana to iOS and Android
Microsoft is continuing its journey into the sunlit uplands of helpful openness under the leadership of Satya Nadella, a far, far cry from the Microsoft days of yore when every announcement had to be carefully inspected for lock-in.
The company has just announced that it’s going to spread its Cortana digital assistant well beyond its Windows home and onto what we used to think of as enemy territory - it’s going to have it support both IoS and Android. It says Cortana will be on Android by late June and on iOS later this year.
Microsoft says the versions aimed at the new platforms will have most of the features that Cortana currently has on its Windows Phone and Windows 10 versions and the phone companion will enable Windows 10 PC users to find relevant apps on all the phone platforms as well.
According to Microsoft in its blog post (always look carefully at the corporate blogs), this is all about the corporation realising that “many people use iPhones or Android phones, and we want them to enjoy some of their Windows experience and content while away from their Windows 10 PC. Regardless of the operating systems you choose across your devices – everything important to you should roam across the products you already own – including your phone.”
So it’s not just Cortana - Microsoft is pushing out the helpful links and cross-platform gizmos left right and centre. It says it’s 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.”
You may have to go to a bit of trouble on the non-Microsoft mobile platforms, but the assistant will make “all your files and content… magically available on your PC and your phone,” it says.
“The Phone Companion app on Windows 10 PCs will help you setup a Windows phone, Android Phone, or iPhone to ensure your key Windows experiences — your photos, your music, your docs – move effortlessly wherever you do.