Microsoft Cortana is coming to Outlook for iOS

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Cortana iPad
Cortana could be reading your emails soon.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Microsoft is working to bring Cortana to its Outlook app for iOS. The virtual assistant will give users the ability to listen to their emails, which will be particularly useful in situations where you need to be hands-free.

Cortana is the virtual assistant that always gets forgotten. We talk about Alexa and the Google Assistant because they’re so good. We talk about Siri because it’s so bad. But we don’t really think about Cortana unless we’re using Windows 10, where Microsoft shoves it down our throats.

Cortana is coming to Outlook

If you use Outlook for iOS, however, Cortana could become much more familiar.

“Sources familiar with Microsoft’s Outlook plans tell The Verge that the company is currently testing Cortana within Outlook on iOS and Android,” writes Tom Warren, who has a screenshot of the feature in action on an iPhone X.

Only internal builds of Outlook have Cortana integration for now, but if testing goes well, it could make its way to beta and then public builds. Don’t expect it to do too much initially, though; The Verge reports it will have the ability to read your email aloud… and that’s it.

Nevertheless, it will be useful when you’re driving — and Microsoft will surely add more capabilities later on. You should be able to ask Cortana to read your latest messages, or just those from specific contacts. If you need to dictate an email, Siri can already take care of that.

There’s no word on when Cortana will rollout to public Outlook releases. That will likely depend on how smoothly the internal testing goes.