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Tech News: Cortana from Microsoft Now Available for Android and iOS

Cortana
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons / PauloPark02 / CC)

Microsoft has officially launched its Cortana digital assistant for iOS and Android-based devices after months of beta testing.

The features of the different versions of the virtual assistant, however, vary depending on the platform it is running in, PC World reported.

As expected, Cortana's features are not that diverse in iOS and Android. After all, these two platforms already have digital assistants of their own. And, Cortana for these platforms is just like a companion app and not embedded in the core system like Siri for iOS and Google Now for Android.

Instead, the new iteration of Cortana was designed by Microsoft to work well on its latest operating system, the Windows 10. Through a PC running this OS, Android and iOS users can connect their smartphones to their computers to enjoy the features of Cortana.

One of these is tracking online activities such as email messages, incoming packages, flight reminders, weather conditions through the Windows Mail app. You can then program these details to be sent to your device.

However, there are still some differences regarding Cortana's capabilities on Android and iOS. It seems users of Google's OS got the better end of the deal since the version of the digital assistant for the Android has a lot more useful features.

For instance, Android phone users can use their Windows 10 PCs to view incoming calls. They also have the "Hey Cortana" voice command support to tell the virtual assistant what to do.

Aside from these, Microsoft has also entered into an agreement with custom Android OS maker Cyanogen for the integration of Cortana. The first Cyanogen-supported device that will receive the Cortana feature in the U.S. is OnePlus One. Other will devices that will get the same feature will be unveiled probably in early next year.

"They're going to take the Android base experience [of Cortana] and integrate it," Marcus Ash, the manager of Microsoft's Cortana program told The Verge.

Although some iOS users might find it unfair that they will not have the same features as the other versions of Cortana, Microsoft noted that it is currently working on ways to improve the functions of the digital assistant on various platforms.

"We start with some communication scenarios, and think about how we can do more of those," Ash explained. "You'll see us do some really interesting work here. With a Windows 10 PC in the mix we think we can do some pretty powerful things."

Tags Cortana, iOS, Android, smartphone, Technology

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