Microsoft’s Cortana 2.0 digital assistant brings ‘fresh new look’ to iPhones
Despite Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google’s best efforts these past few years, none of today’s big four digital assistants even come close to perfection in unscientific, real-world tests. And neither will Samsung’s Bixby, no matter how tightly it might be integrated to the Galaxy S8 and a presumably refreshed version of TouchWiz.
But it’s nice to see all the aforementioned AIs constantly trying to make progress, albeit in small ways more often than not. Cortana in particular needs all the iterative enhancements it can get, lacking both a standalone device like Amazon’s Echo or the Google Home, and a wildly popular mobile platform.
Redmond’s voice companion for smartphones, tablets and PCs is however not available exclusively on Windows gear, actually receiving an important Android update and redesign a few months back. That same major 2.0 overhaul now finally reaches iOS users as well, bringing with it a “fresh new look and improved user experience”, according to the app’s brief official changelog.
Alas, lock screen support isn’t out yet on Android or iOS, though Cortana 2.0 definitely feels sleeker, regardless of your favorite mobile OS, with a bright purple theme replacing the old dark gray UI, “faster page transitions”, improved responsiveness”, remodeled calling, texting and reminders, plus “more immersive full-page answers.” Enough to take over for Siri on all those hundreds of millions of iPhones out there? Absolutely not, but it can’t hurt to give it a shot.