Microsoft’s Cortana Digital Assistant Comes To iOS & Android

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Heard about Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant but haven’t been able to try it on your phone, since it was only for Windows? Now iOS and Android users can use it, too.

Microsoft shared the news today on its blog. You’ll find the iOS version here, the Android version here. Both are only available for those in the US and China. For Apple, you need to run iOS 8 and above. For Android, you need Android 4.1.2 or higher.

Cortana’s functionality is much more limited running on iOS and Android than it is on Windows devices (including Windows desktops). In particular, it generally cannot perform some of the device-specific commands that Siri allows on iOS or Google Now allows on Android.

Beyond that, it’s also more limited in terms of what it can predict, because it can’t access things like your mail on non-Windows devices to form its suggestions. My past post explains much more about this: How Google Now, Siri & Cortana Predict What You Want.

Cortana is also being released for Cyanogen, a mobile operating system that’s based on Android code and in some cases even carries the Android branding, because it has met Google’s compatibility requirements.

With these devices, Microsoft is promising that Cortana can do more device-specific actions, because it has worked closely with Cyanogen to make this happen.

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