Microsoft confirms Cortana is going away on Android and iOS in certain markets

Cortana inMicrosoft Launcher
Cortana inMicrosoft Launcher (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The Cortana app on Android and iOS is going away.
  • This includes the Cortana experience inside Microsoft Launcher.
  • Micrososft has not said which markets will be affected.

Microsoft has today announced that the Cortana app on iOS and Android, including Cortana inside the Microsoft Launcher, is being phased out early next year in certain markets. I reported last week that Microsoft was planning to remove Cortana from the Microsoft Launcher in certain markets, and now Microsoft has confirmed these plans in a support document.

The Cortana app on Android and iOS will cease to function on January 31, and this includes the Cortana experience via the Microsoft Launcher, just as I had mentioned previously. Unfortunately, Microsoft has not provided a list of markets where this change will be put into affect. I can confirm that Cortana will stop working on mobile platforms in Canada and the United Kingdom, but there's no word on if this will extend to the United States as well.

To make your personal digital assistant as helpful as possible, we're integrating Cortana into your Microsoft 365 productivity apps. As part of this evolution, on January 31st, 2020, we're ending support for the Cortana app on Android and iOS in your market. At that point, the Cortana content you created–such as reminders and lists–will no longer function in the Cortana mobile app or Microsoft Launcher, but can still be accessed through Cortana on Windows. Also, Cortana reminders, lists, and tasks are automatically synced to the Microsoft To Do app, which you can download to your phone for free. After January 31st, 2020, the Cortana mobile app on your phone will no longer be supported and there will be an updated version of Microsoft Launcher with Cortana removed.

This is a real shame, as it means the few users trying to be part of the Microsoft ecosystem will not be able to use Microsoft's assistant as default on Android. Instead, Microsoft expects users to use Cortana inside Microsoft 365 enabled productivity apps such as Outlook and Teams, but that means Cortana will no longer be an option when wanting to ask simple questions like "what's the weather like?" or "how tall is the Empire State building?"

Our interview with the head of Cortana and the future of AI at work

Microsoft says that the removal of Cortana on Android and iOS is specific to mobile platforms, and that Cortana on Windows 10 will remain for users who wish to use it. That makes sense, as Microsoft is currently in the middle of building out a brand new Cortana experience for Windows 10 with the 20H1 release expected in the spring of 2020. What are your thoughts on this change? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks for the tip, CeeTalks

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads