Microsoft invites a limited number of iOS users to beta-test Cortana assistant

By , Nov 4, 2015

Cortana teaser 004

Microsoft today announced that a limited number of iPhone owners in the United States and China can now sign up to test-drive the first public beta of its personal digital assistant, called Cortana. “Over the coming months, we’ll continue to deliver frequent updates to the app to expand the features and functionality,” notes the Windows maker.

While Cortana offers the most complete experience on Windows devices due to its tight integration with Microsoft’s operating system and Apple-imposed restrictions related to iOS development, Cortana for iOS does take the intelligence of its Windows counterpart and brings that experience to the user’s iPhone.

“In the spirit of the Windows Insider Program, we’re looking for a limited number of people to get their hands on an early version of the app,” reads a post on the Microsoft Communities forums.

“We want help from our Windows Insiders to make sure she’s a great personal assistant on iOS too,” Microsoft writes, warning that it’s “important to keep in mind that this is the first public release of the Cortana for iOS beta.”

To be considered for the public beta of Cortana for iOS, you must complete a short survey on Microsoft’s website. Folks located within the United States or China who get selected for beta access will receive a Cortana download link in an email message over the next few weeks.

According to The Verge, Cortana for iOS looks “just like the Windows 10 Mobile and Android equivalents, and works in a very similar way.”

Among the features that aren’t possible in Cortana for iOS is the always-listening ‘Hey Cortana’ mode akin to untethered ‘Hey Siri’ functionality on the iPhone 6s.

“Some Cortana features require access to the system that aren’t currently possible with iOS or Android, so things like toggling settings or opening apps won’t initially be available in the Cortana companions for those platforms,” Microsoft said this summer.

Source: Microsoft via The Verge

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  • Signed up. Hopefully it’s like Cortana on my 635.

  • (JailbreakQA) King Shoot

    Thanks, but I’ll stick to Siri.

  • nyangejr

    Cortana: Would you like to reply?
    Me: Uuuh yeah!
    Cortana: What would you like to write?
    Me: Sign me up.

  • That_Fruitarian

    No system access? Not always listening? Then what will it do, just query the Internet?

    • ericesque

      This is why Google Now hasn’t gotten much use on my phone. I keep it around for certain queries that Siri isn’t very good at, but it can never be a replacement.

      • That_Fruitarian

        Agreed!!! Two thumbs down.

  • Sohail Wahab

    I’m a Siri boyfriend, but I love how Cortana sings the songs and how natural she sounds. The only downside of it is being slow and poor interface/UI design

  • Jayy

    That’s cool I never knew about that! Now I just have to goto YouTube to see if it really makes a difference!

  • Sohail Wahab

    I’m aware of enhanced voices for Siri, but the way Cortana sing songs and laughs, she’s totally a different person. I’m a Siri fan now and find it more useful than Cortana because of it’s easy to use design and much more. I hope they make Siri voice a little more natural like Cortana.