Mi­crosoft up­dates Cor­tana for iOS with fresh new look

The vir­tual as­sis­tant’s app gets a re­design to match its An­droid coun­ter­part, writes Blair Han­ley Frank M

iPad&iPhone user - - NEWS -

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icrosoft has given its Cor­tana app for iOS a facelift. The app now fea­tures Quick Ac­tions, so users can tap a cou­ple but­tons and get Cor­tana to cre­ate an alarm or set a re­minder. That means users can get at key fea­tures with­out hav­ing to talk or type queries, and it also gives them a frame­work for what they can do with the app, with­out them hav­ing to dis­cover it on their own.

The vir­tual as­sis­tant mar­ket is a crowded one, be­tween Cor­tana, Siri, Alexa and the Google As­sis­tant all com­pet­ing for users’ time. Mi­crosoft’s as­sis­tant is built into PCs with Win­dows 10, but the com­pany also needs to keep its apps for other mo­bile plat­forms up to date in or­der to meet users where they are.

In ad­di­tion, the app’s phone call and mes­sag­ing func­tion­al­ity got a facelift, so users who want to text us­ing Cor­tana in a move that makes it even more com­pet­i­tive with Ap­ple’s Siri.

Cor­tana’s mes­sag­ing and call­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties got a re­design as well. When users ask it to make a call, the app will fire up the iPhone’s di­aller. Send­ing a mes­sage pulls up a view of the built-in mes­sag­ing app.

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