Microsoft made good on its promise to bring Cortana — its digital assistant — to a broader range of devices on Wednesday, officially launching standalone apps for iOS, Android and Cyanogen phones.
The company has been talking about this move since last year, and now we’re seeing how it fits into the company’s broader vision for Windows 10. Cortana is meant to serve as a bridge that connects all devices, sharing information between users’ mobile phones, PCs and even game consoles.
If you miss a call on your phone, you can use your Windows 10 PC to ask Cortana to text that person that you’re in a meeting. Likewise, if you set a reminder on your PC, Cortana will still be able to send an alert via your phone.
None of these features is groundbreaking, but the app will help smooth the transition between devices — especially if you’re split between Windows 10 and some other mobile operating system.
The digital assistant was previously only available on Microsoft’s own Windows platform, but now everyone can get at least some of its functionality.
Microsoft points out that it’s considered a third party developer on these competing operating systems, so Cortana doesn’t get the same permissions it has on Windows. Certain features — like the ability to toggle settings and activate the digital assistant with only your voice — simply aren’t possible on iOS or Android. For the Cyanogen version, Microsoft was given greater access for deeper integration akin to what you’ll find on Windows devices.