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Microsoft is reportedly working on bringing Cortana to iPhone and iPad

Part of project "Einstein", which Microsoft Research managing director Eric Horvitz is involved with, the company is working on advancing Cortana to improve on its personal assistant offering, prior to rolling out on other platforms. According to Reuters:

"Later, Cortana will be available as a standalone app, usable on phones and tablets powered by Apple Inc's iOS and Google Inc's Android, people familiar with the project said."

Currently, Microsoft has rolled out Cortana on compatible Windows Phones and in early builds of Windows 10. According to an interview between Horvitz and Reuters, Microsoft will offer a more advanced version of Cortana that could also bring in more automation and awareness, using data from artificial intelligence. From the interview:

"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."

It's yet another step in Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's plan to offer Microsoft services and apps outside of the Windows ecosystem. We've already seen advances made with Office, releasing advanced versions on competitor hardware. It's believed Cortana could also prove useful in attracting consumers to Microsoft's ecosystem.

Source: Reuters

37 Comments
  • Anything as long as it works offline would be good for me (fors text messages and appointments on the go for instance)
  • That would be nice but I'm afraid it would be a huge app to be able to process data like that. There is always hope.
  • Google now works well on iphone Sent from the iMore App
  • At least on Windows Phone, it works.
  • ok.
  • I get it, to a degree, I guess. But I'm not sure why I'm supposed to want Cortana. I already have Siri. Why dominant or need another assistant?
    I just don't see it.
  • Have you tried Cortana I have zero issues getting her to understand what I am asking her yet I always had issues with Siri asking me to repeat. I had a horrible cold a month ago and Cortana still got it - give her a chance you may be surprised
  • exactly i dont use siri because 99% of the time she doesn't understand what im trying to say ... but googel now is normally spot on ... i hope this comes to IOS i want to try it
  • Maybe I really am missing something, tho I seem to have fewer issues with Siri than others claim to have.
    But if Cortana does arrive on iOS and reports from users are overwhelmingly positive for it being that much better, I'll be onto it too.
    Thanks for the replies. :)
  • Im with you, complete opposite of them i rarely ever have an issue with siri understanding me. Cortana got me frustrated right off the bat, and when it did understand, it wouldnt do what i had wanted anyway Sent from the iMore App
  • Unless Apple opens up iOS more though, I don't see cortina having enough integration. Siri has trouble with my accent sadly. Sent from the iMore App
  • For me, Cortana isn't as much about voice recognition (Though, she is fantastic at that) but more how she works passively. She pushes the information to you without you interacting with her. Honestly, 90% of my interaction with the Cortana app isn't to type or speak a request, it's just to open up my personal agenda view and get a break down of the day ahead, the latest news, my personal interests, movie recommendations, upcoming concerts for artists I like, etc. It's pretty awesome. In fairness: Thanks to widgets in the notification center on iOS 8, I'm sure other apps can do this very well also, but still, Cortana is great. Also, when compared to Google Now: I personally appreciate that I have full controll over what Cortana does and doesn't know about me. If she misses something, I can add it manually. If I don't want her to know something, I can delete it and she'll forget. And half the time she prompts and asks you if you'd like her to remember something before she ever catalogues it in her notebook. So while obviously, due to security restrictions, Cortana can't be as deeply integrated as Siri: I could still see her becoming a very popular iOS companion because she'll become a one-stop hub for a quick peek at the day ahead.
  • Another thing people don't understand regarding Cortana: 1. She will be built into Windows 10, which uses Microsoft services 2. Most iOS and Android users use Windows, and Windows 7 and later users will get free upgrades to Windows 10. I don't use Siri because she really just isn't that useful. Google Now was nice on Android because you could Open Google Search and stuff was there. Things you searched about yesterday... it had the latest articles for that topic there waiting for you. Flight information from your email, Sports Scores, etc. Siri doesn't do that. She is still stuck in the 2010/2011 Era of Voice Search for the most part. These new systems like Now and Cortana aren't about actively searching for stuff via voice (so which one is faster or more accurate becomes less and less of a selling point), they're about serving the user relevant information before that information is even requested by that user by analyzing their interests, habits, and past actions. If Windows 10 is good and Cortana is as good as Microsoft says she is, it could be a legit reason to ditch my iPhone and move to Windows Phone. I do find myself searching for a lot of similar things that on the iPhone that I simply didn't have to on Android due to Now serving up much of that in the background by analyzing my searches... A lot. Also, Siri still hasn't hit my iMac, but Cortana will be on my Notebook come Windows 10 upgrade day.
  • Just left windows phone for iPhone. Cortana is great but not enough to stay. It also allows depends on what you want. If you want apps then windows definitely isn't the best choice that's the main reason I left. Sent from the iMore App
  • Google Now has no personality... It's helpful, but not fun at all. Sent from the iMore App
  • Siri doesnt work as well as Cortana in most cases and for AI Cortana has a lot more personality Sent from the iMore App
  • I often switch between my iPhone 6 and a Lumia 830. Cortana is far better! I took my Lumia on a trip recently. Cortana had my flight information including gate and departure information displayed on the live tile. When you opened the app information including any delays followed by weather in my current city as well as the city I was travelling to was displayed. It also displayed transit information on how to get to the airport and when i should leave to make it there on time, because she knows i take transit over driving. I would have had to open up multiple apps on the iPhone to find out the same information. I would take Cortana over Siri anyday.
  • Anyone who has used both knows that Cortana makes Siri look like a babbling idiot - no question. This is great news to those who have come over from Windows Phone! The question is whether she will have the ability to be as deeply integrated into the OS as she is on Windows Phone.
  • I'm torn between whether I want that to happen or not. If it doesn't happen, it'd give people a good reason to switch to WP, so that they'd be able to use Cortana's technologies to their full potential instead of getting a more limited version of the voice assistant. But if it does, I think it would effectively put Siri out of commission as the default voice assistant on iOS. I'm not sure which scenario I want to happen more... Sent from the iMore App
  • Cortana has way more personality than Siri. In iOS 7, Apple removed so much of Siri's personality. But with every change to Cortana's software and engines and whatnot, Microsoft is only adding more and more personality and helpful features and such. For example, unlike Siri, Cortana can do impressions, tell jokes that are actually funny, answer all kinds of questions related to the Halo franchise, make location-aware reminders, keep track of your interests, and you can actually type out things to ask her, unlike Siri, which is voice-only. No way to ask Siri questions only by typing. The only point I'll give to Siri is that unlike Cortana, Siri has a male version. I'm curious as to what a male version of Cortana would sound like, though. Perhaps the voice actor for Master Chief will provide male Cortana's voice? Sent from the iMore App
  • Ill keep my iPhone if i can get Cortana on it soon Sent from the iMore App
  • Microsoft will in the end gain more revenue from Cortana on iPhones than they get from Cortana on Windows Phones... much like Google gains a significant part of their revenue from their apps on iOS devices.
  • And I see nothing wrong with that (not saying that you had an issue with that either). It's like the best of all worlds on one phone.
  • So, in theory, this would complete full Microsoft Band capabilities on the iPhone? I think that was the only thing not compatible. This would be awesome!
  • If you can find a Microsoft Band anywhere. It's always sold out.
  • True, but when more are in stock, or even a next version, then having Cortana on the iPhone and work with the band would be awesome!
  • Alas, might not be technically feasible due to iOS API limitations and restrictions, for security concerns. And while Microsoft and Apple have made deals in the past before, I would never expect a deal like that to pop up.
  • Not to worry, the Microsoft Band will soon be available in Best Buy stores from what I hear...
  • Options are always nice. Can't wait! Sent from the iMore App
  • Having just come over from an Icon not long ago, this is marvelous news.. The one thing I truly missed.. Sent from the iMore App
  • I love cortana!!! Love it on my Lumia 1520 and now I want it on my iPhone Sent from the iMore App
  • I was thinking about getting the lumia 1520...could you tell me about it at koltonh2002@gmail.com Sent from the iMore App
  • I just recently switched to an iPhone from using WP for 2+ years. First, I find Cortana to be better than Siri. I would rank Google Now as the best, but Cortana is almost as good as Google Now but has personality like Siri. Not the original commenter but here's my opinion. To answer your question, the 1520 is a fine phone and is still a solid choice. It is 6" screen though so make sure that size will work for you. If you're used to flagships though, I would tell you to wait until later this year when new phones come out with Windows 10. The 1520 came out in late 2013, and that is old in terms of mobile phones. If you're interested in Windows Phone in general, every so often there are low-range phones that go on sale for under $50. These are not going to be powerhouses, but they will give you a good idea of the OS.
  • I used Cortana when I had a Windows Phone. In some ways liked it better than Siri because it had more use ability. But with that said Siri, Cortana, & Google Now are all little different some features work better than other. But Cortana and Google Now both need more info and more access. Apple could add some of these functions to Siri but they dont want your info in the same way. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Yes, yes an yes!! I just loved Cortana on my old Lumia. Siri is boring... Sent from the iMore App
  • I love Cortana on my 1520! I use it (her) daily for location based reminders (aka "geofencing") where I can have her remind me about things when I get to, or leave saved locations. With the newest Denim firmware, we also have "Hey Cortana" where I don't even have to touch the phone, I just say "hey Cortana... Remind me to send those files to Mr. Smith when I get to work", or "hey Cortana, remind me to buy milk on my way home tonight". There's so many uses for this, and it (she) works spot on every time!
  • Yeah. I love using Cortana on my 635. She 1-ups Siri several times over.
    And even though I still have no idea where Denim is for it, and that I won't be able to use the "Hey Cortana" feature on my phone (since it's not powerful enough to do that), I can still use the "Hey Cortana" thing on my laptop running Windows 10 (build 9926). It needs some improvement on desktop, but I'm confident in how Microsoft will improve it as the Windows 10 preview matures. Sent from the iMore App