When Microsoft first announced back in May that it intended to bring Cortana to both Android and iOS users, it gave itself a deadline: Android support was set to arrive first, but ultimately it wanted to Cortana out for both platforms before the end of the year. And while we’ve certainly seen Android beta testing get underway – and much, much more recently, an iOS beta – there’s been this sense ever since that Microsoft’s efforts were taking a little longer to come together than the company might like; sure we had our betas, but would would a wider release be possible before 2016 rolled around? Today, Microsoft drops a pleasant surprise as it announces that Cortana is ready to go for her cross-platform launch, now available to Android, iOS, and (soon) Cyanogen OS users at large.
Cortana is available now for users in both the US and China to install on their Android (4.1.2 or better) and iPhone (iOS 8 required) handsets. You can easily get set up with the help of Microsoft’s Phone Companion app on Windows 10 PCs, or just grab Cortana directly from your platform’s app store.
We heard about plans for deep Cortana Cyanogen OS integration back in September, and that’s finally set to arrive later this month in the form of an update to the OnePlus One.
The big difference between the Cyanogen OS implementation and what users will get on other phones is the presence of system-wide “Hey Cortana” voice triggering – constrained to from within the Cortana app itself or the system home screen on other Android devices. Beyond that, the Cyanogen OS version also picks up the ability to toggle system settings.