Microsoft has been playing third wheel in the mobile market since before they even tried launching Windows Phone. While I personally loved the Windows Phone 8 interface and operational standpoints, the platform failed horribly. Windows Phone was plagued with the “chicken or the egg” syndrome. Developers and publishers of games and apps did not want to work on the platform until a large enough user base adopted it; users didn’t want to adopt it until their favorite apps and games were available. Then Microsoft started playing hardball by releasing key desktop apps for Windows Phone 8 and newer. One new app that Microsoft did release on Windows Phone 8 first was Cortana. Since Microsoft has relegated Windows Phone from being their platform of choice, we have seen all of their once exclusive apps hit other platforms–Cortana being one of the more user interesting ones. Now, Cortana has found a new home to reside.
Android and iPhone users in the United Kingdom can now make use of Cortana by Microsoft. This is a big deal because until now, the digital assistant was not available across the pond on non-Microsoft devices. I am not sure why this was the case–surely Microsoft would have viewed the UK market as a prime piece of real estate worth pursuing. Either way, they have done something about this lack of support.
What is in this new release of Cortana, at least for the UK Android market? Well, you can access reminders to do things. This is an interesting feature, one that Alexa, Google Now and Siri cannot mimic. Set an alert on your computer (running Windows 10 of course) and that alert will follow you over onto your cell phone (Android, Windows Phone or iPhone) as long as you are running Cortana and have her synced to the same Microsoft account. Pretty cool feature actually.
Another cool feature is that you can have Cortana alert you on your PC that you missed a phone call on your cell phone. She can also send a text message letting the person know you will call them back at a later time, all without leaving your Windows 10 powered computer. Again, pretty neat.
Want to get in on the fun of using Cortana across your devices? Hit your country’s Google Play or iTunes App Store and search “Cortana”.