Microsoft Wants Insiders to Test Cortana for iOS
Microsoft is asking Windows Insiders to give Cortana a whirl on their iOS devices. Cortana is Microsoft's virtual assistant. The company made a beta version available to Android handsets back in August, and now it is the iPhone's turn. Cortana for iOS can be used to track flights and calendar appointments, set reminders and alarms, and monitor packages. Microsoft said testers will not be able to launch Cortana with the "Hey, Cortana" catch phrase, but most other features are intact. Cortana testers will still be able to interact with Siri, Apple's own personal assistant. Cortana for iOS is free to download from Microsoft's Windows Insider community, though interested testers need to complete a questionnaire in order to gain access to the program. Microsoft said it will use feedback from these testers to improve Cortana over time.
Unicode 11 with Dozens of New Emoji Arrives June 5
New emoji are coming to a phone near you, eventually. Unicode 11.0, which was finalized in February, will be released on June 5, according to Emojipedia.
Microsoft Releases Cortana for Android in Beta Form
Microsoft today made its Cortana voice-activated personal assistant available to Android users via the Google Play Store beta channel. The app had previously only been available through a closed beta, but is now accessible through an open beta program.
Microsoft and Amazon Let Cortana and Alexa Talk to One Another
Microsoft and Amazon today announced a new partnership that will allow Windows 10 users to access Alexa via Cortana, and Echo users to access Cortana via Alexa. The tie-up lets people use one personal assistant to open the other.
Cortana for Android Now Works On the Lock Screen
Microsoft today made it possible for Android device owners to access and use Cortana above the lock screen on their smartphones. Microsoft has been testing the feature since earlier this year and is now rolling it out to all users.
Microsoft Brings Cortana Assistant to Skype for Android and iOS
Microsoft today ported its Cortana personal assistant to its Skype chatting application, providing people with access to information without forcing them to leave Skype. Microsoft says Cortana in Skype can suggest useful information based on chat contents, suggest smart replies, manage schedules and/or reminders, and more.