The battle between virtual assistants is about to hot up again as Microsoft Cortana prepares to go cross-platform to take on Siri and Google Now. The intelligent virtual assistant will be arriving on Android and iOS later this year, but you can get a sneak peek in the video below.
Cortana has been baked into Windows Phone for just over a year now, and it will make its desktop debut in Windows 10 this summer. But Microsoft believes the Cortana experience gets a whole lot better when you can use it anywhere — regardless of what phone you have.
“The Cortana app [for Android and iOS] can do most of the things Cortana does on your PC or on a Windows phone,” Microsoft says, such as setting reminders, tracking flights, making notes, and answering questions like “what’s the weather like tomorrow?,” or “how tall is the Eiffel Tower?”
In addition, your Cortana data will sync across each platform, so the notes you create on Android and iOS devices will also be available on your Windows PC.
But of course, because Cortana is just an app on third-party platforms — and not part of the core OS — there will be things it does on Windows that cannot be done on Android and iOS, like changing system settings, opening other apps, or invoking Cortana using the “Hey Cortana” command.
Nevertheless, Windows Phone switchers and Windows 10 adopters who have an affinity for Cortana will certainly be happy to see that rumors of its cross-platform expansion have now confirmed.