Cortana: the first personal digital-assistant who works across your PC & your phone
When you upgrade your PC for free* to Windows 10 this summer, your experience will include Cortana.** Those of you familiar with benefits of the deep integration of Cortana on Windows phone can expect to see the same integration on your Windows 10 PC. Cortana will be able to help you get lots of things done, from searching for things on the web or your device to setting reminders, dictating email, or toggling device settings. Cortana is also integrated into our new web browser for Windows 10 – Microsoft Edge.
Part of the power of a personal assistant comes from being available on the go, on the device you carry with you everywhere. And for people who don’t have the benefit of a Windows phone, we want to extend the advantage of Cortana in Windows 10. How will this work? Today, we’re announcing a Cortana application for Android phones and for iPhones which works as a companion to Cortana on your Windows 10 PC. The ‘Phone Companion’ app on the PC will help you install the Cortana app from the Google Play or Apple App Store onto your phone so you’ll be able to take the intelligence of Cortana with you, wherever you go.
The Cortana app can do most of the things Cortana does on your PC or on a Windows phone. You can have Cortana remind you to pick up milk the next time you’re at the grocery store, and then your phone will wake up and buzz with the reminder. You’ll be able to track a flight using Cortana on both your phone and your PC, and get the updates on the device that you’re on so you don’t miss anything. Everything in Cortana’s Notebook will show up across all your devices and any changes you make on one device will be reflected when you use Cortana on any of your other devices. The Cortana companion app will help you complete tasks you begin on your PC wherever you are, on your phone. Want to see more? Watch the video below for a demo:
Although the functionality will be very helpful, because it’s “just an app” there will be certain things that Cortana does on Windows phones that won’t work on Android devices or iPhones. Some features require access to the system that aren’t currently possible with iOS or Android, so things like toggling settings or opening apps won’t initially be available in the Cortana companions for those platforms. Similarly, the ability to invoke Cortana hands-free by saying “Hey Cortana” requires special integration with the device’s microphone, so that feature will be limited to Windows Phones and PCs.