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Microsoft's Digital Assistant Cortana May Be Heading to iOS and Android

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Apr 12, 2001
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Microsoft is beefing up "Cortana", its virtual voice assistant found in its line of Windows Phones, with plans to provide her contextual reminders and various other features on iOS and Android devices later this year, according to Reuters.

Announced for Windows 10 desktops earlier this year, Microsoft is planning to upgrade Cortana's functions even more through research from an artificial intelligence project called "Einstein." Reuters notes that the new iteration of Cortana would double-down on her being less reactive, akin to iOS users needing to instigate Siri commands themselves, and more proactive.

The virtual assistant, named after an artificial intelligence character who appears in most of the main Halo games, could go so far as to plan out a trip to the airport. She would prep boarding passes, check traffic and flight delays, all from reading emails related to the matter.
Cortana could tell a mobile phone user when to leave for the airport, days after it read an email and realized the user was planning a flight. It would automatically check flight status, determine where the phone is located using GPS, and checking traffic conditions.

"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," said Eric Horvitz, managing director of Microsoft Research and a part of the Einstein project, in an interview at the company's Redmond, Washington, headquarters.
While still not officially confirmed by Microsoft, Reuters notes that a Cortana app for iOS and Android could extend the program's reach beyond the company's smaller share of the smartphone business, and perhaps win over converts not impressed with Siri's functionality.

Microsoft definitely sees Siri as a competitor, releasing a string of advertisements last year pointing out Cortana's biggest features still unavailable to Siri users on iOS, like mapping out traffic patterns to provide a user alerts and contextually aware reminders

Article Link: Microsoft's Digital Assistant Cortana May Be Heading to iOS and Android
 

b166er

macrumors 68020
Apr 17, 2010
2,062
18
Philly
Cortana blows away Siri in my experience. I really like Windows Phones these days. It's a shame the developers don't do much with it or it would be a much better platform. Their app selection has always been the greatest crutch.
 
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Alenore

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2013
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426
how will Siri deal with competition?

Not much will change since Siri will always be much more integrated to iOS than any third party app could.

Also, there's a slight typo in the title. Android, not Anrdoid ;)
 
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maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,387
34,599
Boston
Awesome. No longer any reason to get a Windows phone then.

And that will only hurt MS in trying to increase its marketshare. I know the phone is doing horribly but they don't want to give even more reasons not to buy the phone
 
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OS X Dude

macrumors 6502a
Jun 30, 2007
989
245
UK
Pretty cool. I wouldn't enable the future planned features that enable it to read your email and such, but from the Windows 10 Tech Preview I have under Boot Camp it's a pretty useful feature! It's quicker than a Google search and often provides better at-a-glance information on general queries.

I imagine this'll only be more the case when their Spartan browser is previewed, as it parses websites for pertinent info. I can definitely see Siri coming to OS X now.
 
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JaySoul

macrumors 68030
Jan 30, 2008
2,627
2,860
Because Siri isn't all that great.

Don't get me wrong, I use Siri all the time, but it's lacking in a lot of areas that Cortana and Google Now excel in.

Fair enough, I've never used Cortana.

I've got Google Now and do miss a lot of day-to-day stuff that Siri does.
 
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d0minick

macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2011
304
503
Cortana is great. Would be glad to have her on my iPhone.

Siri is really lacking.
 
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jumanji

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2003
185
252
Austin, TX
Cortana blows away Siri in my experience. I really like Windows Phones these days. It's a shame the developers don't do much with it or it would be a much better platform. Their app selection has always been the greatest crutch.

sadly, yes. cortana and google now both are better than siri and both microsoft and google have integrated them better into their OS platforms. i have all 3 as we test and develop for all 3. siri is severely lacking...

not sure why windows never took off in the phone market. it is not a bad platform but i think people are just off of windows now, at least in the US and other major countries.

as a big halo fan, i do like cortana's voice also!
 
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Hardtimes

macrumors regular
Mar 9, 2011
114
2
Siri is truly awful. It doesnt do much, and what it does do is slow.

I'd give this a go.
 
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Timster83

macrumors member
Aug 9, 2007
37
9
Glasgow, Scotland
Siri is great for setting reminders and turning on alarms and even basic tasks, but it's not a digital personal assistant.

However, Cortana on iOS will likely be as popular as Google Now is unless Apple allow users to control default apps.
 
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hmark8

macrumors 6502
Jun 17, 2009
309
400
how will Siri deal with competition?

The same way it always has? Cortana and Google voice assistants have been out for quite some time. Cortana on iOS certainly won't change anything because Siri is the default so using a third party voice system even if better is typically outweighed by the fact Siri is so readily accessibly from a single click.

More importantly for people who do use a third party system, Google's voice option is a 1000x better than Siri and Cortana. So if someone doesnt use Siri they will use Google and not Cortana. But Microsoft is putting their heart into saving the company and while it may be too late, I applaud them for finally getting back on track.
 
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2457282

Suspended
Dec 6, 2012
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competition is always good, so bring on cortana. Having said that, it would seem that microsoft is giving up on its platform if it is going to migrate everything to iOS. Since their history is of a software house and not a hardware house, maybe this makes sense in the long term. Not sure.

Still unless apple allows me to switch which DA will be the default, I dont see this getting huge traction.
 
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CharlieBrandt09

macrumors 6502
Feb 28, 2012
408
40
Southern NJ
This could be a big deal to me.

I have been on the fence between a MS Band and an Apple Watch. I am holding my decision until I see some real world reviews of the fitness abilities of AW, along with the HR sensors reviewed.

BUT - If Cortana on iPhone could open up all the abilities of the MS Band, that could sway my decision.

Interesting development.
 
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b166er

macrumors 68020
Apr 17, 2010
2,062
18
Philly
sadly, yes. cortana and google now both are better than siri and both microsoft and google have integrated them better into their OS platforms. i have all 3 as we test and develop for all 3. siri is severely lacking...

not sure why windows never took off in the phone market. it is not a bad platform but i think people are just off of windows now, at least in the US and other major countries.

as a big halo fan, i do like cortana's voice also!

Yeah even the voice is better! More human somehow. I like Google Now but if I could have Cortana on my iPhone than I'm good. I think this is good news. It will help the AI develop on all platforms and if people don't want it they aren't forced to use it.
 
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