Microsoft starts bringing Cortana to Skype on Android and iOS

Skype (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft recently began testing out Cortana integration with Skype users on Android and iOS, leveraging the digital assistant's smarts to surface useful information in conversations. Now, Microsoft is preparing to bring that integration to all users starting today.

In a new post on the Skype blog (opens in new tab), Microsoft says that Cortana is now starting to roll out to the mobile Skype app on Android and iOS. The digital assistant will be available in two major ways. The first will see Cortana living inside your chats with others, offering up useful information based on what you're chatting about. For example, if you and a friend are discussing going out to eat or to a movie, Cortana can serve up restaurant options or movie reviews. Cortana will also suggest smart replies as responses and automatically offer to create reminders when it detects you're speaking about an upcoming event.

If you're a regular Facebook Messenger user, a lot of this will look pretty familiar. The implementation looks similar to what Facebook has been doing on mobile, offering up context-based quick replies and actions on the fly.

Cortana - Skype

In addition, Cortana will also live as its own contact on your Skype list. "Get answers to your burning questions, like the name of the lead actor in your favorite movie or what the weather outlook is for the weekend," Microsoft says. "You can also ask Cortana to check your flight status, give you a stock quote, or suggest the best restaurants in your area."

According to Microsoft, this integration will be rolled out gradually starting today on Android and iOS. Curiously, there's no mention of Microsoft's Windows apps — though we previously confirmed that the smart suggestions were available as part of the Skype Desktop Preview for Windows. For now, you can grab Skype on Google Play (opens in new tab) and the App Store (opens in new tab) to check out the new features as they roll out.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • I've switched to Android like they wanted. I HAVE ZERO USE FOR CORTANA.
  • So unpin and don't use? Not sure what the problem is here.
  • The problem is Daniel, they always release incomple and useless product to consumer which turns out failure and then cancle the project ! If on the first chance they release polished and completely stable thing consumers might love the product but not this way.
  • Buit that seems to be the norm for Microsoft, look at the apps that are on Windows 10 and the stuff they are piutting onto the new version.  To be fair, MS is not the only one that does this, look at Android, or mainly  phone manufactures that use Android, plain Android is fine and yet companies like Samsung waste time and money to stick their own resouce hungry skin on it.  
  • It's a waste of time and resources on crap nobody wants or needs rather than actually making the stuff people like better. 
  • Speak for yourself and not others
  • It is very clear: they are pushing people to use Android and IOS, users who will soon start using services of Apple and Google. Crazy syrategy, especially because you own a platform that works very well (mobile, pc and console).
  • Not everyone though. I migrated to Android on a Samsung Galaxy s8+ but am using as many Microsoft services as possible with Samsung handling the rest. Most of their desktop users are on iOS or Android so it makes sense to provide a good experience on those platforms.
  • That isn't always the case though. I just moved to iPhone for the first time since the MPX200 almost 15 years ago. I have had an iPhone for work, so I am familiar, but my daily driver has always been windows, until now. (It hurts to say that and it makes me feel kind of dirty, but it is what it is). Anyway, what I have found for my situation, is that I like platform agnostic services. No matter what device I pick up: Xbox, PC, Phone, Tablet, etc, that my services are travelling between all of them. Example. Was a Groove Subscriber, signed up for the 3 free months of Apple Music just to check it out. Going to end up going with Spotify because of platform support. Same with my AI, going to continue to use Cortana because it works on all of my devices. That is my future, go with what supports the most as stay as far away from a closed ecosystem as possible. As of now, I don't expect to use any of Apple's services with the exception of iMessage and Facetime (Probably the main reason I chose Apple over Android - That and simplicity for my wife and quality of the apps. And let me tell you, I didn't really know what I was missing on WP until now) Though I do hate not having messaging/sms on my surface now. Wish Messaging anywhere would come back...
  • I'm the same I moved to android and removed/disabled all the apps I am not going to use and installed Word excel Outlook Groove (now has to go for Google music) Here, Arrow Launcher and lock screen cortana as well as a few others. For me ide like Microsoft to make an android phone along the lumia line with all the Microsoft app built in for me ide take this as an ok replacement for Windows Phone and add Continnum as an app on it to. We can dream though.
  • You nailed it with this comment.  I couldn't agree with you more.  I've been on an iPhone for the last year and the ONLY thing I truly miss is Messaging Anywhere.  There are a few other little annoyances for me (like no more Live Tiles, not able to replace Siri with Cortana, no glance screen, etc.) but the the iPhone does soooo much better than Windows Mobile and is a breeze to use.  And I can still get my favorite Microsoft Services (Xbox, OneDrive, Office 365, Outlook, etc.) which have more features and run way better than on my 950 Lumia.  Plus Apple Wallet is cool and mobile banking is sweet.  And all the 3rd party apps (Spotify, Pandora, LastPass, Chase, Capital One, JetBlue, etc.) are all extremely polished.  Its seriously night and day between my Windows Phone.
  • My point, I guess is, when they do things like tell people to take a hike with their ecosystem, I can't understand why they spend the resources with the nooks and crannies on the alternate OS's as if we were goiing to coontinue to use them. I have a hard toome believing they think that many of us are going to continue using things like Cortana after they chased us off. It's one thing if it something like Word that there really isn't a good alternative, but when the system they chased us to has Google Assistant, why splinter it? It just seems like a other dumb business decision. I really am confused as to if they really understand consumers.
  • Oh good grief, I hope there is a way to disable this. As for having something like it on Facebook messenger I have not seen it,  i do not get anything chucked at me when I ask people about meteting for a coffee, maybe it is a U.S thing. I really need to find something to replace Skype, i gfot rid of cortana on my windows 10 computer, I really do not want it on my tablet. i do not have skype on my phone.  
  • Yes, it's just a toggle under Settings > Cortana. It's nothing big.
  • good. i really do not understand this need to stick these so called assistants in  everything, too many gimmicks in products that do not need them. until MS got hold of Skype it was a nice simple bit of software that allowed people to communicate, now MS have to be honest spoilt it. 
  • why it bother you so much? is Cortana your ex-wife name?
  • Because cortana is just another MS app that sends data back to Microcrap.   
  • if that's the case, you can't avoid that, Google Assistant and Siri is worst, they track everything u did.
  • Does the Windows 10 app have this?
  • Not sure. Open the app and let us know.
  • It doesn't. Microsoft treating their OS like developers did with Windows Mobile… Ignoring it... Universal Windows Platform is a total failure.
  • I don't hace choice, i sell my hp elite x3 and then change to Lg V30 or Samsung S8 plus like they wanted, but in my case i cancel all Microsoft Acount, Xbox Live, Office, Groove, and f*ck them. It's a shame all, I'm very angry, i change IOS to Windows Mobile 2 to year ago, after 6 year of intense use of IOS and they do this ****, i change IOS, lost music, lost apps, lost backup, for nothing. In this moment i hate Microsoft, i buy Surface pro 3 and now the news say meaby in 2019 stop selling surface, i buy Microsoft Band 2 and he never release a ******* update to Microsoft band, i use in my house in my tv intro nuc with Windows 10 pro, i recently change my ex Lumia 950 xl to Hp elite x3 for this... I cant believe...
    I can't return to IOS because they change, the last good phone they release is iPhone 4S, i use iPhone 3g, 3gs, 4s, 5s, 6 and in this time i see the conference of Microsoft and my hype are... It's impossible describe that hype, this year in the last event i... I can't believe... Sorry i can't back here, Nadella i don't understand you. Sorry for my bad English
  • Why is the last good iPhone the 4S?? All iPhones are great incremental updates to the previous ones. Used 6S is especially amazing now for the price. 7 is awesome (waterproof, camera), 8 is okay (glass fragile but ridiculously fast).
  • Because the difference between models are insignificant.
    Come on, 6 years i use it. November 2009- December 2015.
  • The 4S is the last incredible iPhone, after that things begun to be lackluster... Awful design and lack of hardware available on the competition. This year they finally made a good looking device, well from the back.
    Yes the software experience is top notch and they abused that power. I'm no hater, and if i have money to spare i would get an iPhone X (even if we have to wait until January for its launch and then even more time in my country), Since i don't I'll stick with my fantastic outstanding Galaxy S7 Edge, then i would get an iPad Pro, later a Galaxy Note 8. Third the iPhone X
  • yes, you should, note8 and LG V30 either one is a good choice....
    I'm getting my note8 soon.
  • My Note 8 has been amazing. I thought I'd have woes leaving after so many years of Windows Phone. This phone has made me forget about those dark ages. Fantastic phone. Was worried about the Android/Samsung lag, but have seen no such thing on the Note (or the Galaxy is sold).
  • I'd prefer this on Facebook Messenger more than I would Skype as no one I know uses it anymore 😢
  • i still use skype for gaming group calls on pc, but it's mostly dead otherwise. ridiculous since it was the defacto standard for years. 
  • It's crazy how the mighty can fall so quickly. Everyone I know used skype, then iMessage came and ruined everything :(
  • They should've stuck WLM. Rooms on Wp 8.x used the WLM back end. We all know how the Skype gambled turned out. A catastrophe, Google beat them to punch with real time translation. With the current trend of Skype, removing basic features and adding them back in the name progress, really shows that they have lost all sense of direction.
  • I rarely used Cortana, or any of the 'AI' bots. I find them too gimmicky and too generic for my taste. Seems pointless MS porting this over as Google assistant is embedded into their UI. Why would anyone change?
    M$ should have saved their $ , put more $ into marketing, R&D. Next to go will be Windows OS. Bought a Surface in May. It's fantastic, but same old problems exist as they did in the final death knell of WinPho. i.e. hardly any decent apps. Kindle ? Joke - not even a proper app! BBC Radio, iPlayer? Nope... I need to install an Android emulator...and quick
  • Does anyone regularly use cortana? 
  • i don't, but then I killed cortana outright, I stopped it running in the background of my computer.  ]
  • I used to on windows phone, took MS suggestion and switch to Android so why would I use Cortana? 
  • I try but it fails to give desired results after the last update.
  • Yeah it is not great to be honest,  i have tried it out and it seems to get confused. It sometimes thinks I am in Texas, just because there is a place with the same name there.  
  • On W10(and mobile), Cortana appears in Skype UWP 12.XX, even with the "what can you do?" suggestion button, but unlike on iOS, Cortana doesn't respond. Thumbs up and down (feedback) are also available, unlike on the 11.XX version.   So I'd say it's coming to Skype UWP as well
  • Cortana was amazing on 8.1, never used her on 10 since she wasn't the same. Anyway just picked up LG G5 cheap and selling my Idol 4s...shouldn't cost me much out of pocket to switch this way.
  • Same here. Cortana was so glitchy on 10. On 8.1 it just worked.
  • Not just Cortana, but calendar auto populated addresses, City Lens, all dark Cortana, kids corner, 8.1 keyboard...I can go on and on how backwards this all went.
  • The keyboard was definitely my biggest grievance with Win 10 Mobile. It was absolutely perfect on 8.1 then it became worse than anything else I've used on Android.
  • We are definitely on the same page bro
  • Seriously Microsoft NOBODY cares about your products on Android or iOS. By terminating your mobile goals you've lost any chance to stay relevant. My head can't can't get around how STUPID you are. Are you really dumb as a cucumber Nadella or is it the Board? Or is your goat whispering Android worship songs to you? All of your products on external platforms except Office suck donkeyb*lls. And they will forever suck because you cannot integrate like they do and you will always lack behind because they know their new features before you do. You've become a poor slave of Google and Android after fighting an awful weak battle, while claiming the opposite. You-are-pathetic.
    Everyone who i advised a Windows device is f*cked and can start wasting money on a new phone. And what horrible options are left? Android ad-world or Apple-hell? F*** you Microsoft. Lies, so many lies last years. Nobody will trust you again. I also feel bad for the Windows central staff. How horrible must their jobs and future perspective seem now. They are just helping all us goats to swim to Apple and Google while there is no hope here. What a pity. Nadella Fruitella is becoming a complement. Nadella the Supercilious Fiction Writer! Hit refresh sounds like a good campaign to get you outta here.
  • This remember Sega
  • Being that I'm a former Windows 10 Mobile user who left for Android due to the impending death of Windows 10 Mobile I'd say that Microsoft's services on other platforms are very important to me. Just because I switched platforms doesn't mean that I wanted to switch services. It's actually pretty awesome that I can be on Android but still have a pretty good Microsoft experience with Microsoft Launcher, Office, OneDrive, Outlook, Cortana, Bing, and more. From a purely business standpoint, they have to go where the users are.
  • Apple hell?   Are you high?   iOS is heaven compared to WP.  Fast, smooth, plenty of apps and plenty of support.  
  • You might want to look at the installation numbers of their apps before spouting off that nobody cares about their apps.
  • Hello
  • Hello :)  
  • To show the irrelevance of what MS is doing, not done, don't want to do or will never do. I've had my L950XL DS for over a year and in setting it up I had to tell Cortana my name and get her to call it as it should be pronounced. Like I said it's been over a year and Cortana has NEVER EVER called my name once after asking if that's correct in the pronunciation. Something as simple as that MS couldn't get right or working from the get go. What use is having a PA on a smartphone and it can't even call your name. MS took out so much from the OS that made it simply better than others. Truly shame on you MS, shame on you!!!!
  • Another Nadella-late to market offering. If I were missing deadlines like Nadella; then, I would be a Microsoft. This is becoming very tiresome.
  • MS what about just give me option which user is on line!!! 
  • Oh good Lord! I have gotten rid of Skype on my laptop (except for being forced to have it within the new Outlook Mail) and on my Android phone. I swear they just keep forcing that hot mess down your throat no matter what you want, Judist Priest!!!  I love Cortana and use it everyday, but I don't want Skype connected to it in any way shape or form.  If Microsoft is going cross platform why do they have to force all these services on users, when they should allow users to associate whatever app or service users want to use with their own MSA.  They should on your Accounts Page, have a checklist where users can place a check by the services they wish to use with their MSA.  They did that with Windows Live Essentials and it was great. I am so tired of having my devices hijacked with crap I don't want or use.  Honestly, this type of stuff is eventually going to drive me away from the Microsoft ecosystem, and I really wanted to stay with it. But I don't know how much of this I can take anymore. Honestly!
  • Where is the SMS Relay feature?  It's really hard to switch to Android if there is no way to type an SMS message from my PC.  Why is this feature only available in Skype on their "not the focus" phones?
  • I think it's coming to Android with the W10 Fall Creators update. Not 100% sure, but I think I saw something about it recently.
  • Yet another US only service I don't care at all.
  • I wish microsoft would solve the region and language and region conundrum. It's the limiting factor in the whole experience. Many regions and users are simply not part of the experience and conversation, simply because it is not supported everywhere.
  • This. Microsoft might as well just change their name to: USAUSAUSA!
  • Why are there so many people who don't like anything microsoft in these comments on this site?! Why don't you spend your time on an android or ios site and be happy, instead of coming here to complain?! Your lives must suck if you need to constantly down something some one else likes to feel better about your own crappy existence.
  • Because they're all people that DID like Microsoft, and Nadella has slowly (or rapidly, depending on your opinion) and surely killed off Windows Mobile, and fired a ton of people, and is focusing on enterprise customers.  But only some of them... Because they're more focused on Wall Street short gains instead of the long-term viability of the company.  Not developing things may save money, but they spend millions in R&D, just to either cancel a nearly finished product, or release an unfinished product.  Once Chrome OS becomes more powerful, and software companies that make business products start making Chrome and Apple versions of everything, Microsofts last foothold will disappear.  For too long they've relied on their stranglehold on enterprise PCs.  It will be their undoing, not adapting to mobile, and half-a s s ing things. #FireNadella
  • By the way, I loved Cortana on W10M, I wish it were as useful on Android.  But I don't see any gain in Skype integration, when there is a full Cortana app.  Who spends that much time in Skype?
  • So Cortana will be constantly scanning your chats and sending that data to a server...No thanks
  • The chats are already on Microsoft's servers. No difference between then and now.