Microsoft is bringing its digital assistant Cortana to iOS and Android

microsoft cortana app for ios android
There was a time when it seemed that Microsoft was developing its voice-controlled, digital assistant Cortana to draw iPhone and Android users to Windows Phone. That might have even been true, once, but it certainly isn’t the case anymore, as the company is planning a standalone Cortana app for iOS and Android.

Initially compared to Siri and Google Now, Microsoft has been referring to Cortana as a “personal assistant” for some time now. At times, it seems that the company goes out of its way to avoid referring to Cortana as software, preferring to refer to it as “her” and “she” instead. A large part of Cortana’s identity is drawn from the character of the same name in the Halo franchise.

More so than either Siri or Google Now, Cortana makes use of artificial intelligence, drawing from an internal Microsoft project called Einstein. “This kind of technology, which can read and understand email, will play a central role in the next roll out of Cortana, which we are working on now for the fall time frame,” said managing director of Microsoft Research Eric Horvitz, speaking to Reuters.

As research from the Einstein project makes progress, Microsoft is using it to enhance Cortana’s abilities, and while these new features will debut in Windows 10, it’s likely that they will make their way to the standalone apps as well.

Cortana is currently available on Windows phones and will come to computers later this year in Windows 10. Adventurous computer users can also get a look at Cortana in action by checking out the pre-release version of Windows 10 via the Windows Insider program. Microsoft hasn’t yet said when Cortana will come to iOS and Android devices, but it may be a while.

Bringing Cortana to other platforms might have seemed strange in the Steve Ballmer era of Microsoft, but since Satya Nadella has taken the position of CEO, Microsoft has been much more open with its software and technologies. In recent months, it’s brought many of its key mobile apps to both Android and iOS. It’s also become more common for smartphone makers to share software with other operating systems in general. Both HTC and Blackberry have opened up their apps to iOS and Android users, and almost all of Google’s apps are available on iOS.

Wearables

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices. 
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Computing

Cloudflare’s privacy-enhancing 1.1.1.1 DNS service comes to iOS and Android

Cloudflare's 1.1.1.1 DNS resolver service has been ported to mobile devices, and now anyone with an Android or iOS device can download it for free to take advantage of its speed and privacy-boosting features.
Social Media

Addicted to Instagram? Its new ‘activity dashboard’ is here to help

Ever get that nagging feeling you're spending too much time on Instagram? Well, a new "activity dashboard" has a bunch of features designed to help you better control how you use the addictive photo-sharing app.
Mobile

Best iPhone 7 Plus screen protectors to shield your big, beautiful display

Cracked screens are expensive to replace. Fortunately for you, we've rounded up what's available in terms of protection for Apple's large iPhone 7 Plus. Here are the best screen protectors you can buy.
Computing

Four fake cryptocurrency apps were listed on the Google Play Store

It is a dangerous time to be going after crytocurrency on Android. Four bogus cryptocurrency apps were spotted on the Google Play Store this week, according to a report from cybersecurity researcher Lukas Stefanko. 
Mobile

New sensor from L’Oréal tracks UV exposure to keep your skin safe from the sun

L'Oréal has announced a new wearable sensor that attaches to your clothing and can track ultraviolet light. The sensor uses NFC instead of Bluetooth -- meaning it doesn't need a battery to work properly.
Cars

Uber rolls out rewards program that lets its most loyal riders lock in prices

Uber launched a new loyalty program today called Uber Rewards. It offers frequent riders credits to Uber Eats, car upgrades, and the ability to lock in prices on their most traveled routes.
Gaming

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.
Mobile

Motorola Moto G7: Here’s everything we know

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.
Mobile

T-Mobile's new Revvl 2, Revvl 2 Plus are now available for purchase

Last year, T-Mobile launched its own line of branded smartphones. As a follow-up to their predecessors, the carrier has unveiled the Revvl 2 and Revvl 2 Plus -- complete with a sleeker design. Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

How to take great photos with the Pixel 3, the best camera phone around

You’ve scored yourself a new Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, and you want to take advantage of that incredible camera. We’ve got everything you need to know right here about how to snap the best photos with your Pixel 3.
Smart Home

Huawei could soon take on Google and Amazon with a new digital assistant

According to a report from CNBC, Huawei is working on a new digital assistant that could try to take on the likes of Google and Amazon's Alexa. Huawei already has a digital assistant in China, but the new one will be aimed at markets…