Microsoft's Digital Assistant, Cortana, Is Now on Android, iOS

After Being Held In Private Beta, Cortana Is Finally Out For iOS, Android Devices

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Credit: Microsoft

Android and iOS users can now add a little bit more Microsoft to their devices, as the company said its digital personal assistant, Cortana, will be available for download later today.

The application, which has been in closed beta for months, will allow users to accomplish many of the things that Google Now or Siri do. One of the key differences, however, is that Cortana will be highly connected with other Windows 10 devices.

Information on a user's other Windows devices, like weather or travel, will reflect across that person's other Windows devices, the company said. Cortana users will be able to do other things, too, like track packages or flight information. The application can also alert a user's tablet or PC if they've missed a call, Microsoft said.

Additionally, Cortana will also be connected to Cyanogen, an open source firmware that is based on the Android operating system. That means Android users can say "Hey Cortana" and then issue commands or ask the digital personal assistant questions while the app is open. That feature will unlikely be available to Apple iOS users, however.

And while many would expect Bing Search to power Cortana, many might not know that Bing also powers Siri and Amazon's Alexia.

For Microsoft, that means the company can expand its search capabilities as it increases its market share in the space. Bing ranks only second in search market share with about 21%, only behind Google's 64%, according to ComScore.

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