First Master Chief, then Windows, next your pocket: Cortana is coming to Android and iOS devices, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore announced in a post on the Windows Blog today.
Cortana's availability on competing platforms begins inside of Windows 10.
"Today, we’re announcing a Cortana application for Android phones and for iPhones which works as a companion to Cortana on your Windows 10 PC," the corporate vice president operating systems group wrote. "The 'Phone Companion' app on the PC will help you install the Cortana app from the Google Play or Apple App Store onto your phone so you’ll be able to take the intelligence of Cortana with you, wherever you go."
Using Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage technology will allow Cortana to have access to photos, music, notes and Office documents.
"The Cortana app can do most of the things Cortana does on your PC or on a Windows phone," Belfiore wrote. "You can have Cortana remind you to pick up milk the next time you’re at the grocery store, and then your phone will wake up and buzz with the reminder. You’ll be able to track a flight using Cortana on both your phone and your PC, and get the updates on the device that you’re on so you don’t miss anything. Everything in Cortana’s Notebook will show up across all your devices and any changes you make on one device will be reflected when you use Cortana on any of your other devices. The Cortana companion app will help you complete tasks you begin on your PC wherever you are, on your phone."
Unlike on Windows Phone devices, Microsoft's digital assistant won't be able to respond when users say "Hey, Cortana," change settings or open apps on Android or iOS. Press play below to see some things that Cortana can do.
Microsoft unveiled Cortana in April 2014 for Windows Phone 8.1. At a January 2015 event, Microsoft detailed Cortana's Windows 10 integration. Today's announcement confirms an a Reuters report from March.
Cortana is named for the Halo franchise's faithful AI companion and powered by Microsoft's Bing search technologies. Like her cousin Siri, Cortana can assist users by interacting with their contacts, calendar, music, messages, notes, reminders and more. Jen Taylor, who voices Cortana in the Halo games, is also the voice of the Siri-like digital assistant.
Windows 10 will arrive this summer as a free upgrade to select Windows users.
Verge Video archives: Hands-on example of Cortana on Windows Phone (2014)