A month ago Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana became available for download in a pre-beta release. Now an official US beta version of Cortana for Android is here. An iOS version is coming soon.
The full Cortana experience and functionality are available to Windows 10 and Windows Phone users. But because Cortana for Android doesn’t access your email or read your calendar it can’t deliver the same depth of functionality and features on Android. Nonetheless I was able to use Cortana in its beta form today for a wide range of tasks:
As a voice-enabled search engine for web queries
To initiate texts and calls with voice
Create meeting and calendar entries
Get driving directions (it uses Google Maps)
Conduct local searches near me (this was a standout feature)
From a technical standpoint I don’t know what prevents Cortana currently from reading my email (Gmail) or Google Calendar. On the iPhone I actually rely more heavily on the Outlook mail app, which presumably