Early version of Cortana for iPhone reportedly available for some beta testers

Microsoft has reportedly begun closed beta testing for its Cortana digital assistant app for the iPhone. The beta is being distributed by Apple's TestFlight beta software system.

According to leaked screenshots from the app, Microsoft says that Cortana on the iPhone can be set up so that it can help with organizing meetings during the day, set up reminders on a Windows 10 PC that can be replayed on the iPhone and more. One tester has already posted up screenshots from the Cortana iPhone beta on the Warenotice site.

Cortana iPhone screenshots

Since Testfight is designed to only offer up to 2,000 testers for an iOS beta app, it's likely that only a few people have gotten access to try it out. There's no word yet if Microsoft plans to release a more public version of Cortana for the iPhone before it is officially launched.

Source: TechCrunch, Warenotice

John Callaham
  • Uh oh here it comes.
  • Whiners-ahoy!;!
  • Where is my Cortana in the Netherlands? Big fuck you Ms!!
  • There she comes, watch out boy she'll chew you up...
  • Nice one, WinCoffee!
  • Oh here she comes*
  • Of course. MS should change their priorities and first make Cortana available in all languages and regions (in non-beta form), and only then think about taking it to iPhone.
  • That doesn't make logical sense. Localisation is a task in itself regardless of which platform it ends up on. It's valid to say you want them to put more resources into getting Cortana in more countries, but holding back on multiplatform won't necessarily free up resources in the team that's localising everything for different regions. It would be nice to see them release basic functions for reminds to more parts of the world, but where there's a lack of Bing knowledge it will seem like less of a nice experience.
  • Makes no sense. They can currently port their existing App and its instantly available to millions more people. Or they not do that, take months to add language support and add a few thousand users, if that. Think about that for a second... Posted via the Note 4/Nexus 7 (2013)/Lumia 1020/Lumia 2520
  • Woohoo! We're only months away from being iPhone users!
  • Screw you MS..big time..
  • This decision will prove effective in the long run. Since, Cortana and other Microsoft products don't have all the features on other OSes which they have on Windows and if people begin to use them over Apple's and Google's products, they will decide to buy Microsoft's products to use their services to the fullest thereby increasing Microsoft's user base. Well, anyways, very few people out there who think in such a way ;) And fyi, I am not a supporter of these decisions. What I've said is a debatable fact, not my opinion.
  • Riiiiiiiiight  
  • More like, yeah right.
  • Thats not how users think though. They will say, "Why should I move to a different phone when Microsoft is giving us the products on the phone I have?"
    Other than Continuum, do you really see any features that other OS's don't have?
  • A platform agonistic approach will invariably always cannibalise sales.
  • It will possibly get more people to use Cortana in Windows 10 if they start using it on their iPhones - More Windows 10 users is obviously a good thing. I agree it takes away a selling point for phones running Windows 10, but some people may like it and then want a more integrated experience (maybe ha)
  • Yes, but those products don't have all the features which they have on WP. Like Hey Cortana, that too without unlocking the phone. Moreover, iOS will have more restrictions than Android which will make Cortana a little less usable. Other OSes also don't have Windows Hello, live tiles and iOS can't even sideload apps as easily as WP.
  • And why do you think they won't bring it to android? Given their past history. Not to mention that most windows phones now don't have Hey Cortana
  • But every future Windows mobile will do have it. Hello is the feature MSFT won't sacrifice. And they won't bring everything on Android. That will result in a WinDroid. Well, I am not a supporter of such idiotic decisions but what I said earlier is the fact, though debatable.
  • A friend of mine is thinking in buying a Windows Phone because of the native music search on the "Search Buttom" (Bing/Cortana), because Android can't do that and neither the Bing App, and my friend love the feature. There are some little things that put someone on thinking what to buy next
  • Of course. I had given a presentation on WP last year in my college (for internals) and many of the attendees liked "it". "It" meaning WP in general, not my presentation ;) Some of my friends have even switched to Lumia since then which they don't regret doing.
  • I think they'll say "why should I use this crippled Cortana when I can just use the superior Siri?" and stick with their iPhones.
  • there are many of us that have left Windows behind and really looking forward to Cortana so don't judge
  • And how did that strategy of keeping things exclusive work for MS in the first few years of Windows Phone's existence? The competing platfforms all have personalised voice assistants. Microsoft's is now the only one that is/will be on all platforms. If anything this makes Windows (desktop) more attractive since customers can expect to have the same experience on PC and phone regardless of devices they use. Microsoft tried the exclusivity route and it did them no favours. The only people exclusivity benefits are the fans who want to get into flame wars online.
  • But we have a flagship phone for Windows phone enthusiasts with less than half the apps! What else do you want?
  • Except it's not gonna work that way. If they provide equal service among all platforms they'll have zero incentive to switch. There's only two ways they'll switch: If apple/google pisses them off enough to ditch the platform for any reason and/or if MS has more exclusive service enhancements/expansion on their own platform over the same service on the other platforms. And even then the former is way more likely to happen than the latter
  • Really debatable (*_*)
  • I think it's very rare the average user will switch at all - Even a lot of people who say they are moving away from Windows (on their phones) don't end up doing it (despite how much some of them "threaten" to do it in WC comments), so what is there that will make the average person switch from an iPhone after owning 5 of them in succession....boredom maybe, but humans are creatures of habit.
  • Improves Bing accuracy and its machine learning algorithm, thereby becoming more better to google
  • Unfortunately, most young people lack the ability to process complex thoughts and concepts. As such, they'll experience the slimmed down version of Cortana and claim that "it sucks" so everything else Microsoft does too. The current market is filled with a bunch of narrow minded tools and drones with the mental age of an infant.
  • When will we get a version of Siri to run on W10m? Sorry, bad joke...
  • ffs can't we have anything to ourselves!!
  • because at the present moment, "we" are too small to have anything potentially awesome just to ourselves and allow the provider to not lose out on much larger opportunities. businesses work to make money. remember that. always.
  • And also because of our small marketshare, it doesn't help Cortana to expand and its kind of wasted. Google Now is dominating and Siri despite its exclusivity on iOS, their iPhones and iPads are popular anyways. Cortana is not enjoying the small marketshare. Cortana needs more data and making it to the major platforms like Android and iOS helps it to expand and gain marketshare. The more people use and knows Cortana, the better for Windows users in general too. In alternate universe where Windows Phone/Mobile is dominating the market, maybe the exclusivity is okay.
  • Nope. MS is primarily a software company. The more users it exposes cortana to, the better it is for the company, as it can win over people to use Bing instead of google. Looks like they are trying to break the symbiotic link people on other platforms have formed with the respective companies (example: People who use either android or iOS are primarily dependent on google for search and mail, the latter being the strongest bond). If they show that they have decent alternatives to the software provided by other platform giants, folks will be more comfortable to make the jump to windows platform. They have a software suite on other platforms or everything that their competition is offering, they are simply trying to promote it. See through the bitching that guys from android give. All point to the fact that they dont want to try out windows platform as they are too dependent on google applications, which are simply not available for us. Those who are adopting the android platform, they will be the prime target to win over before the google parasite sinks it's fangs in them ;)
  • I recently did the switch after 3 years of nothing but Windows Phones.  I still don't use any Google stuff on my 6S+, I use my outlook.com mail, Bing, Office lens, etc. Can't wait for Cortana to become available on IOS - it is literally the only thing left I miss from WP that I can't get on IPhone!
  • This in no way affects my enjoyment of Windows 10 Mobile - It will be a plus to my friends on other platforms as they'll get a lot more use out of Cortana once they have it across devices
  • What a joy.
  • Why the hell would they do something like this? First of all you wouldn't be able to replace Siri. Second, it just causes devaluation of your own mobile operating systems.
    Ten to one, there will be things that Cortana can do on iPhone that it can't do on WP.
  • Cortana will always work best on Windows.
    i know it's not the case with most apps. but those apps are not designed specifically with Windows in mind. Cortana is. and coming to why it should be there at all, people still use Windows 10 on their PCs.
    if MS wants them to use Cortana, it makes no sense to just keep her on the PC. these days, people do most work on phones. so to complete the experience, this is important.
  • But what are you basing your opinion on? Hopes and dreams? I am basing mine on it's past history. And really that is literally the only thing you can base it on, to be plausible.
    The complete experience should be with Windows products, not decreasing the value of the OS. What's next are they going to bring it to Playstation and Wii U as well?
  • And you think people will switch WM because of Cortana? I don't think people will, I personally think that most people stick to what they know and what others' use.
  • Do I think that feature alone? No if course nit, but, do people switch platforms for one feature? For most people, no, of course not. But it doesn't have to be just one feature. When you no linger have exclusive features how we, why would anyone switch? When other operating systems have better versions of your own software, with faster updates, why would you switch?
  • Why this whining?! I don't understand... How come Cortana being released to other platforms be a loss to wp... And moreover Cortana isn't any game changer for windows phone platform...
  • It has the ability to communicate across devices. That is sort of a game changer.
  • And you expect the population to buy the wp phones because of the ability of Cortana to communicate across the devices??
    The only reason that majority are going for Android and iOS is their respective market shares and 'no. of apps' and I'm safely assuming that it is not going to change any soon...
  • It's not a game changer, at least not at the moment. Its not even available to most countries and mostly still at beta and worst, alpha. Despite the nice features of Cortana, it won't make users to switch platform because of it. If Cortan won't expand to other platform, Google Now will eat every oppurnitiy of Cortana to be a dominant virtual assistant service. Google Now is also available on iOS too (unfortunately not on Windows Phone/Mobile). So Cortana should also compete with it or else it will be forgotten.
  • Well, some of us "whine", as you so derogatively call it, because we're MS customers supporting their platform, and Cortana isn't available to us yet, nor is there any word of plans to make it available for us anytime soon; basically this is spitting in our faces, and we're quite frankly not enjoying it!
  • Like Apple users are waiting for this? They already have every imaginable app in the world. Focus on what's important MS, your loyal users who do all the selling for you.
  • they ARE doing this for you.
    what gives an iPhone user any incentive to switch? the apps are sorted, as you mentioned. the hardware is great too.
    so if someone tries this, they will actually see the potential of a better experience on Windows. more importantly, Windows 10's major market share will come from PCs. and that has to grow in order to attract developers. so YOU can have your favourite apps.
    Cortana is a flagship feature of Windows 10. no one will use it if it is restricted to the PC.
    people donot switch ecosystems very easily. it's not the same as buying a new phone.
    so you get them involved and gradually switch. it doesn't happen overnight.
    MS is trying to get maximum people engaged with Windows 10, so YOU can have the best apps and support.
  • Except the experience is not any better on windows than it is on IOS.
  • I had Cortana and still do on my beta machine but for all the people who I have told about Cortana the Apple people are looking forward to giving it a go which can only help both platforms in my eye.  Though I don't see many wanting to come to Windows because of the App situation, if anything they come and go from Apple to Android and vice versa as I am contemplating.  I don't think Windows 10 will show up in my office until after I am long gone.  We only just got IE 11 - they are testing 10 until they can't see straight and everytime one of our programs doesn't work that sets the process back a step or two or more.
  • Do all the selling? I never do and I don't see why I should sell WP/WM to anyone.
  • That's because you're a normal, well-adjusted individual. If your self esteem was tied to your technology choices you would have to convince as many people as possible to make the same decision you did in order to feel validated. :)
  • Update Cortana on Windows 10 first please!!!!!!
  • Windows 10 Mobile and Windows Phone Hardware are no where near mainstream at all, we have to admit. In order to promote Windows 10 and its idea to run on different sizes, Microsoft has to extend its core apps/services to IOS and Android. With Cortana existed on Android and IOS, I can finally take the full use of my Windows 10 PC to have all my emails, notes, interets, reminders on synced on my phone. Maybe one day, I can even text via Cortana on a non-WP device. When the right WP shows up, I will be very likely to buy one and to enjoy the full-integration and continuum etc. At the moment, it's more useful for MS to get people onboard the Window 10 not the W10M/Lumias. Because we have to say there is no true incentives for people to switch to W10M yet.
  • Well said.
  • I wish Microsoft just kills Windows mobile to put us out of our misery and pain.
  • I know and permanently focus their efforts on the two major mobile OSs and PC.
  • They did. It's Windows now, with a different UI for small screen devices.
  • If all companies had that attitude then we wouldn't have Firefox, chrome and perhaps even mac. Just because somebody dominates today, it doesn't mean they'll be there tomorrow.
  • Oh they will, android and ios will be there tomorrow, next week, next year.. Windows will be lucky to make it to 2018 with their phones. It will be off market before 2020. Blackberry did that and focused on other software, then came back and made a new device which is android and it looks beautiful with good specs, also kept it real with the slide up keyboard.
  • They should make it work better on Windows 10 Mobile first. So many searches now just give webpages, and poorly related to the search too. It worked better in WP8.1
  • Microsoft are fucking idiots. Everything unique about this they're giving away and getting nothing back. Idiots.
  • Maybe but is all that uniqueness getting people to switch? If yea them this can be a bad move if not then getting your software to the largest audience possible is a good move.
  • Has Google lost anything by releasing all their apps for iOS ? In fact their income has increased, their userbase is increasing along with Apple users and also their services are becoming better day by day. Android had 100s of apps when iOS had 50000 apps back in 2009. How did you think Google filled the gap so fast ? Answer is services. Instead of having Android exclusivity, Google was intelligent enough to provide all their services to Apple in the form of native apps as well as 3rd party apps. Google also benefitted from Apple as much as Apple has benefitted from Google. Google's revenue got bigger, their userbase increased along with Apple's. Apple is dominating all the profits while Google is dominating the marketshare.  What did Microsoft do ? Sleeping. They tried so many ways to maintain exclusivity, sued Android OEMs, offered cross licensing agreements, paid millions of dollars for celebrities to use WP (btw they switched back to iPhones as soon as contracts have expired), paid developers to make nice apps, offered many things. Nothing has helped them to make WP viable. Any Investor person would want Microsoft to kill the platform because its not at all bringing profits even after all these years. Instead of killing the platform, they want to compensate the losses by getting revenue from other platforms to keep Windows up and running in mobile devices.   Macs have only 5% marketshare but they take 40% of entire PC industry profits. So don't compare Windows mobile with Mac.
  • Im going to put it as I said it the first time we heard it. If they can get full language support for all regions before they try to get this on any competing platform, I would be ok with it. How ever, Microsoft is once again cutting corners. I'm not okay with this.
  • Make the windows mobile version fasters she's kinda slow
  • I wish my current phone had Cortana OK Google although competent lacks the personality and effectiveness of Cortana Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • In the meantime no Cortana (beta) in pt-br here in Brazil yet. Lots of Insiders w fingers crossed. Hope MSFT doesn't "forget" us.
  • I hope too pal.. Eu espero também cara..
  • Remember most iPhone users don't use Macs, they use Windows PCs and laptops. Microsoft is really addressing these users.
  • I use both but primarily my iMac and MacBook - when I am on the Windows PC and lap top it is because something new came out for the insiders to check out - we are stuck in the office with Windows 7 and no sign of getting 10 anytime soon
  • Stuck with Windows 7? You know there are many places that are stuck with XP. What about 23 y.o. Windows? Enjoy reading
    Windows 3.1 Is Still Alive, And It Just Killed a French Airport | VICE News https://news.vice.com/article/windows-31-is-still-alive-and-it-just-kill...
  • Great news.
  • But will you be able to use hey Cortana on the 6s just like hey Siri seamlessly switching between the two?
  • S​ure, just say: "Hey Siri, please launch Cortana!"
  • ... And sweden cant even get cortana english version
  • You know... bringing cortana in spanish markets would be better... AT LEAST in english, there are a LOT of people that speak english but can't use cortana (unless we change language and region... that's crap, becuase a lot of services like weather and here maps, etc, depends on that info)  
  • So.. Does that mean there will be versions for OSX and Chrome? Surely if the strategy is to share the Cortana love to other phone OS, it makes logical sense to share it on desktop OS...
  • Be realistic no one uses chrome os.
  • Pehle phones to global launch kar lo.