Microsoft's Cortana 2.0 for iOS brings a "fresh new look" and improved performance

Virtual Assistants: Cortana
The digital assistant world is heating up, and it seems like in the next year we’ll see at least a few new ones — including an assistant from Samsung. As for Microsoft, the tech giant is renewing its efforts to offer you the best digital assistant around, and to that end, it has launched Cortana 2.0 for iOS.

Cortana is one of the few digital assistants available on multiple platforms — users can download a Cortana app on both iOS and Android.

So what’s new in Cortana 2.0? Perhaps the biggest change is the “fresh new look” of the app’s user interface — which in reality just means that the dark gray background has been changed to purple, and the app will now offer more prompts to do things. Microsoft has also redesigned calling, texting, and reminders in the app. Not only that, but Cortana now prompts you with potential questions you can ask — and Cortana will now offer up slightly more immersive full-page answers.

Last but not least, Microsoft promises that Cortana 2.0 now performs a lot better, offering “faster page transitions and improved app responsiveness.” Cortana 2.0 was launched on Android at the end of last year, and it’s now just rolling out to iOS.

It’s certainly nice to see that Microsoft hasn’t totally lost faith in Cortana on iOS and Android, but it’s hard to imagine the new update really having much of an effect on Cortana’s overall popularity. Microsoft in general has been making quite an effort to build its mobile offering through apps on iOS and Android, but only a few of the apps have made real waves — namely the Microsoft Office apps.

Cortana also struggles to offer the same level of integration as Apple’s Siri or Google Assistant on their own operating systems — and it’s unlikely that level of integration will ever happen. Still, if you’re an avid Windows 10 user and want your assistant to work seamlessly from your computer to your phone, Cortana might be the right one for you.

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