Cortana iOS beta starts heading out to first wave of testers
November’s just about over, but before we dive headfirst into the end-of-the-year action December promises to bring, we’re stopping back in to follow up on a story that helped get the month started for us, when we learned about Microsoft finally inviting Apple users to register to help test the long-promised iOS port of Cortana. Android users had been taking Cortana for a spin for months, and Microsoft had initially talked about getting Cortana working on iOS before the year was out, so while we were glad to see those sign-ups open, we were even more anxious to learn when testing would actually start. This week we get word that the app has finally started heading out to those who registered.
As this is not just a beta release, but also the first build to hit testers, there are understandably some rough edges surrounding the iOS Cortana experience. Not all reminder types are working just yet, support for favorite places needs work, and a lot of work remains in cleaning up the way users interact with the app for common tasks. That said, we’re happy to see it out there, all the same, especially as this is good progress on the road to broader availability.
Speaking of that, this beta may be more limited than anyone realized, and Microsoft’s use of Apple TestFlight to distribute the beta may mean that the company only had a couple thousand spots to fill for beta access. We don’t know if it has plans to bring more users on soon, but if you registered and still haven’t heard anything, take solace in knowing that you’re not alone.