Microsoft is now seeking beta testers for Cortana on iOS

Cortana is Microsoft's personal assistant available for Windows and as beta for Android. The company is now seeking testers for an initial Cortana beta release for iPhone and iPad. Those of you who have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Master Chief's trusted ally will now be able to enter the program, which has a limited number of spots available.

The company has noted already (opens in new tab) that some features available on Windows are not yet implemented on the iOS version – including "Hey, Cortana" to wake up the assistant – but the team will work on ensuring the experience is solid when used within a Windows ecosystem.

For the time being, this initial public release is available in China and the US only, and as aforementioned, access will be limited. Download links will be fired out to accepted applicants in the coming weeks.

You'll need to fill out this Microsoft survey to get started.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • I dont think it will be possible to use cortana as default like in android
  • It will be if MS works with Apple to implement this in a future update... Which is very possible.
  • That would mean Apple replacing Siri in favour of Cortana and that is highly unlikely. Its true that they went in favour of MS Office against their own iWork apps but the case is not the same here.
  • +1M
  • I highly doubt it. Possible? Yes. Likely? I don't think so.
  • I would love to know why Microsoft hasn't implemented interactive live tiles which they showed us at least 1.5 years ago??? They have great ideas that work, but they choose not to go "live"with them...... Go figure!
  • Soon my friend soon
  • Although you can set it as a default search app at the moment Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Yes apple locks down everything. They are a bunch of a**holes.
  • Well dont forget MS does it too.. :P
  • Better to be looked down than be open and vulnerable to viruses I fully support Apple and their locked down approach. Like Microsoft isn't locked down also. Microsoft doesn't even let you have a choice of browser. You're stuck with OEMs or Edge. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I mean cortana is coming to ios...I wish I have hey Cortana...:-(
  • Cortana kills google now.. Not siri.. Cortana cant be set as default in iphone
  • Google now is very good. Don't blatantly say anything. Cortana and google now both have been great.
  • I didnt say that google now is shit.. What i mean to say is if you want cortana as default personal assistant, one can replace it.. You wont be able to do the same with iphone & it will work like an app.. Read before you comment.. :/
  • Yeah Cortana literally kills Google Now, if you activate Hey Cortana. It takes over the microphone.
  • Just yesterday I was wondering why my Google Now wasn't working. Quick research revealed Cortana to be the culprit. Would like to use both of them, but now I have to choose....
  • How about getting people to test "her" in other languages, so "she" could expand a bit faster. Guess that's just wishful thinking, but if you're reading this MS, I'll like to put myself up as a tester for the Danish version
  • Yes i would love to test for the dutch version...
  • Ik ook!
  • I would just love for it to no longer have "BETA" in the top righ corner...
  • It's gone in W10M
  • And this will kill wp as all it's feature all being transported to android and iOS which keeps nothing exceptional to wp
    What a shame MS
  • If Cortana isn't available across platforms, the number of people using her in Windows 10 will struggle to grow - Microsoft are the only people offering a cross platform virtual assistant and that's pretty cool. The introduction of Cortana didn't seem to boost Windows Phone 8.1 into the stratosphere, I don't think people will buy a phone running Windows 10 Mobile just to use Cortana. It also ensures the feature staying alive if Windows 10 Mobile ever goes anywhere (Hope it doesn't as I have no intentions of switching to iOS and Android)
  • I agree but still you see where wp10 is ....... instead of doing all this they should have focused on improving their OS first after all it's more important
  • But, that's impossible... MS has lost so much money, and time, that they need to gain it back elsewhere so that they can continue logically loosing for the time being with W10P.... These little moves in mobile are what make the struggling phone project possible... Quite frankly, MS doesn't have any choice in 2016 but to try to make it's phone business a success,, with mobile so important.. So, they have to look at the big picture, and W10P is the small picture, right now..
  • The OS team and AI team are very different so it's not slowdown W10M builds
  • Think about it... The iPhone's main feature was apps, and then Android came around.. All those apps came over from the iPhone to Android, and that didn't kill the iPhone... It's because iOS, and Android, have their inherent differences besides apps, and Windows does too.... People are still gonna decide which OS to use based on a lot more other things than apps....
    With that said, WP is already dead... Our main fear should be that nobody will know the benefits that the surviving W10P will have vs the competition... It's really Poor marketing that we have to worry about. Poor marketing that leads to unawareness, slow adoption, ununiformed sales people, uninspired media channels, terrible product placement, and availability, lack of carrier support, lack of developer enthusiasm,, and the list goes on....
    Poor marketing already killed WP... We should be worried if it's gonna do the same to W10P.
  • Exactly we need exclusivity as well as proper advertisement to bring back WP 10 to the game and not a universal experience for android and iOS
  • I think with the apps, MS is putting on other platforms, they have admitted on thing... "No matter how good another platform is some users will always stay loyal to their original platform, so we better get them where we can""
    Sound familiar? Sounds EXACTLY like us..... Nevertheless, besides people who are biased, or vested into a specific ecosystem, there are still 50% more who aren't, that MS has the potential to target... This is true.. MS is just hitting the consumer from every single damn angle, finally, and that's actually what we've been asking them to do for years.... I agree with it.
  • And Windows 10 won't be dead I'm positive. As long as they do better marketing showing off their windows 10 in phones along with hardware, it will gain consumers.
  • Yes, Cortana being exclusive to Windows Phone has been such a boom to the platform thus far, people are buying Lumias in flocks and droves! [/sarcasm]
  • Lol... Exactly.
  • I keep getting asked, "Is it like Google Now?" because Google advertises their products.
  • Well, Cortana isn't available to most people, so obviously the service is not doing much good for sales. My grandmother-in-law recently bought an iPhone 6 simply because Siri/speech recognition is available in Danish, even though I'd bet the UI of Windows 10 would be much easier for her to grasp. So that's at least ONE customer MS lost on that account...
  • Hahaha yeah lol
  • Well.. The moto for bringing WP things to other platforms can b attracting those users to switch to WP.. And who told you MS has transferred all their features.. We still have Win Hello, continuum,etc
  • True..
  • +720 to Windows hello and continuum
  • Continuum and hello are minor feartures. Continuum will be used by only a small amount of people and what is hello ? A way to unlock your phone or pc ? I mean in reality it's as important as Live Lock Screen BETA :D
  • And still no compatibility for portuguese language
  • I'm trying to imagine when it will come out in Lithuania... Sometime in 2030 :DD
  • They should better focus on delivering Cortana to Windows users. Cortana is still not available in Belgium !!!! 
  • I don't think the two goals necessarily go against each other - I guess people have the theory that they could throw more people and money at bringing Cortana to more countries rather than having people work on porting Cortana to other platforms, but if they wanted to they could do that anyway, without slowing down on the cross platform goal.
  • Why on the earth you are on so much favour of MS they are not doing anything good for the WP operating system which is a high time for the OS itself
  • I'm not blindly for or against Microsoft - The products of theirs that I use, I enjoy using. Many of them help me be more productive and do my job. I'll always use whatever works best for me or that I just prefer overall, whether that's for functionality or sometimes even just aesthetics. I have a Groove subscription because it gives me a good experience across my PC's, Xboxes and Phone. I really like Universal apps on Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile - The fact Cortana is going to iOS doesn't make me want to switch to iPhone - I've never wanted to so far and this doesn't change things. What I do like is that family, friends, and colleagues will be able to use Cortana across their devices. My wife has an iPhone and she likes it because of the apps and thinks it's the easiest to use (Probably now due mainly to her being familiar with it IMO, so she'll be too stubborn to switch to anything else now I bet) - She hasn't made much use of Cortana in Windows 10 because reminders etc. won't sync to her phone. When it's on iOS (Which is her choice to use) she'll be able to take advantage of Cortana. Basically, Cortana going to iPhone isn't a problem for me in the slightest, but it will be helpful to others I know. Personally I'm a big fan of Windows 10 Mobile, I wouldn't go back to Windows Phone 8.1 now - So for me, they are doing some good things - When it gets to the point that there is something better for me (personally) I'll go ahead and switch
  • Bringing Cortana to Belgium is probably more of a political issue, than a resource issue..... The same goes with elsewhere.
  • Cortana relies on Bing and if Bing doesn't work that well in a country then Cortana will suffer
  • Cortana on other platforms = more available worldwide users = more incentive to expand to other countries as quick as possible
  • Cortana on other platforms = more familiarity with one more part of the MS ecosystem (office, games, cortana) to make switching a little easier. It their BEST if not (almost) only way to advertise.... just give them the dang product and hope they make a switch in the distant future.
  • How about finishing win10mobile and launching some god dam devices?
  • I second that.
  • Irrelevant. Different team.
  • Hardly irrelevant; simply a case of resource allocation.
  • There's probably a fairly small team that works on Cortana for iOS to be fair...We'll never know unless they tell us, but hiring / allocating somebody to do that job doesn't directly take somebody away from working on W10 Mobile
  • Lol...
  • Wow Microsoft only will have the on screen button like exclusively great work!!!!
  • They just don't care for their limited amount of windows phone who'd been there since it's launch iOS and android are more lovable to MS
  • 1) Microsoft is a business, not a father figure. It takes care of it's customers, but at the end of the day, it aims to make money. And a lot of it. 2) As a result of that, yes, they will want to chase the big money-makers. 3) Cortana is a major part of Windows 10, which spans PC and Xbox as well. Microsoft wants to give as much of the full Cortana experience (cross-device syncing) to as many Windows 10 customers as possible and make good on what it claims about Cortana being the ultimate virtual PA. Already, and even more so in the future, the percentage of Windows 10 users that also have a Windows Phone device is very low. Either WP has exclusivity with Cortana and the majority of Windows 10 users (customers) don't get the full package, or they reverse it, and every Windows 10 user gets the basic package and W10 Mobile still gets the exclusive bits (Hey Cortana, integration etc.) on the side.
  • I'm kind of surprised that it isn't on there already.
  • Who cares
  • Make lumia phones better after that other phone's
  • Microsoft is screwed up..!!
  • Not screwed up , Screwing UP
  • If this was about OneDive I would agree but it takes more then blind love to run a business.
  • Only Reason to buy Windowsphone : Live tiles and live folders..
    Microsoft, why don't you release a Launcher with Windowsphone homescreen and app drawer...?
    That will make me not to lose any of the features of Windowsphone when I switch to Android
  • Lol....
  • Wow It's great ! But still pinches the heart -_-
  • What is unique about Windows Phone apart from tiles? Well it used to be office apps,Cortana etc..
  • If you mean for Windows 10 Mobile then there's a few to start with: Universal Apps across PC and Mobile Devices
    Continuum on Phones
    Xbox app that is superior to SmartGlass in many ways If you mean "Windows Phone" i.e WP8 and WP8.1 then there's still the live tiles and UI in general, but you should pretty much forget about it going forward as it's obviously on it's way out ASAP
  • Yeah.Continuum is probably a unique feature of Windows 10 mobile.But other than that I don't see anything that is worth turning heads.
  • Ah, more selling out by Microsoft...Just trying to see the bottom line instead of a feature that is exclusive to their platform that makes Windows Phone different. Riddle me this, Do you think you will EVER see Google now, or Siri on Windows Phone (offical apps, NOT 3rd party apps) ? I didn't think so...
  • LOL apple would never put Siri on android. Also Windows desktop rules the world and that has Cortana so to get people to use it they need it to work on end user phone of choice. You would not make a good business owner. Keep working for the man.
  • It boils down to something very basic: Windows 10 PC/Xbox has or will have a big customer base. Windows Phone/Mobile has a very low portion of that. So what do MS do? They could give low-marketshare WP exclusivity with Cortana, and leave the majority of (in the future, paying) Windows 10 users without the fully enabled, cross-device awesome virtual PA they've been shown. Or, they could allow all customers to get the basic, functional package, and give their own mobile OS it's own finer details of exclusivity that makes Cortana better all-round to use on a Windows mobile device.    
  • It would have been ever better if the testing markets had not been the US and China. Europe as a whole would probably be as big a testing market and  would also easily show in what areas Cortana needs to be strengthened for each individual region. My guess is that before the rest of the planet gets Cortana on Windows 10 mobile a small percentage of American and Chinese Android users will be testing her.
  • Remember Cortana relies on Bing.
  • More platforms will lead to more users worldwide, which in turn will create a larger incentive to expand Cortana quickly. For instance, take a country where 3% of users use Windows Phone. At least 90% will use Android or iOS. Add those together, with Cortana available on all, and that is of course 93% of smartphones at a minimum that could use Cortana. 93% compared with just 3% before making it cross-platform. 93% is much more appealing and there will likely be a greater incentive to get Cortana out for that high volume of users.
  • I'll beta test the Danish version of Cortana for Windows... Surely that ought to be released first, seeing as I'm actually a paying customer?
  • What a shame!!!! Hey Cortana will be available for all android and ios users but not WP users
  • Um no it won't. One Apple would never let that happen and maybe on the Moto but not other Android. Do a little research. I recommend Bing but google will get the job done as well
  • Oh great.I'll test it. Just wait till I sell my Lumia and buy iPhone.
  • I'm not sure what the issue is here. What is the Unique selling point of iOS and android? Both have good app stores, iOS offers a fashionable device, with a UI designed by a 5 yr old and android offers the most 'clunky', constantly upgraded OS due to persistent issues, and OEM' that fill the OS with junk, which leads to poor performance. A lot of the apps on these two are cross platform, with many written coded for both systems. OUR issues are that we have no real USP. Yes, we know that the os is very smooth, memory efficient and live tiles. Unless 'fans' of other OS's are exposed to the windows environment, be that product placement, ads or whatever, it's never going to change. Perhaps, as mentioned above, a proper, android like home page, with a 'familiar' start menu? Those using win on a pc, would be at home straight away. Maybe MSFT software on other platforms isn't such a bad thing. Google now is terrible (for me) and I have NEVER had an iBONE. Maybe it's a bit of 'if we show you ours, will you show us yours?', which could be good for the app store. I wonder next, will MSFT, licence the continuum project to other OS's?? Maybe the phone will be put to bed, but the apps appearing elsewhere could benefit us users when / if....
  • They don't even have all the features available for the Australian market. At least make the features available for all the markets before deciding to have Cortana on other platforms.
  • More platforms = more worldwide users = more reason to expand to new countries.
  • MS does things that no other company do...we may think it is waste of effort but there is something behind it ....
  • In WP Cortana alpha(India) we can play movie game.
  • Actually it seems as though Google has a workaround for disabling the mic on andriod phones if you decide to use Cortana as your virtual assistant. Last time I tried to use Cortana then use Google search via ok google, it said that it can't open the microphone but yet I could use Cortana and the microphone would work. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Cortana, Office, One Drive, Skype etc.. are the cross-platform tools MS uses to ADVERTISE to people on other mobile OS' while still allowing their own people to use their phones with MS products.   That's why the competitor versions are better.   If everyone @Microsoft had to use a Lumia,  we might have better native apps. We might have a premium OS,  we might have better devices and we might not be struggling for developer change. I hope I get accepted as a beta tester,  I miss her! :)  
  • I can't love Cortana.
    I don't have it.
    Take care of your costumes first.
  • It's good that Cortana is available on iOS and Android but it's not going to make me switch to Windows. I switched from iOS to Android, I'm sick of Android and I'm coming back iOS and getting an iPhone 6s Plus, I just prefer Apple and their way of doing things. Although Windows 10 mobile is promising with continuum and all but I tried Windows Phone and didn't like it and I couldn't wait to use my old iPhone 5s again, since then I said I won't touch another Windows Phone again. I'm team Apple and being on Android helped me to realise that. I might get a cheap Windows 10 phone as a second phone but I'll be having too much fun with my iPhone 6s Plus. May give Cortana a try when I'm back on iOS but certainly not while I'm on Android. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • If Microsoft keeps porting over all the things that makes windows phones unique, then there will be no reason to stay with windows phone.
  • Microsoft already know they're fighting a losing battle against iOS and Android that's probably why they're porting their apps and services. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android