Microsoft Launches Official ‘Cortana’ App for iOS and Android Devices

Microsoft today officially launched its virtual assistant Cortana as a downloadable app for iOS and Android platforms (via Business Insider). Similar to Apple’s Siri personal assistant, Cortana allows Windows users to set reminders, preview the weather, and answer basic questions thanks to integrated internet search abilities. Other Cortana for iOS and Android features include the following:

•Set and get location and time reminders across your PC and phone.

•Track packages, flights, scores, stocks, and other important info across your PC and phone.

•Use Cortana’s Notebook to view, edit and manage your interests

•Get information and answers to all kinds of questions. If you’re looking for it, Cortana can help find it.

•Have a little fun in your down time — ask anything, get jokes, and much more.

Microsoft detailed a few features for Cortana at Business Insider‘s Ignition Conference in New York City, including abilities like asking Cortana for help with your voice without having to open up the app. Unfortunately, most of those features won’t be available to iOS users due to certain developer restrictions that fence off Cortana from becoming fully integrated into iOS.

On the other hand, a few Android smartphones will gain a leg up on the iOS version of Cortana thanks to a partnership between Microsoft and start-up company Cyanogen, which runs a custom version of the OS on select Android devices. With Cyanogen software, Android users will have essentially all of the abilities Windows Phone users have over Cortana, including being able to speak to the personal assistant without opening up the separate app.

After some rumors and speculation earlier in the year, in May Microsoft confirmed that Cortana would be heading to non-Windows Phone platforms later this year. In November, the company opened up beta sign-ups for users to test out Cortana for iOS in a pre-release state.

Cortana for iOS is available to download now for free from the App Store [Direct Link].

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Microsoft Launches Official ‘Cortana’ App for iOS and Android Devices

Kantar: iOS Adoption Rises in China as Android Grows in U.S. and Europe

Kantar Worldpanel has released new smartphone operating system market share data for the third calendar quarter of 2015, providing a regional breakdown of Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and other mobile platform adoption in the U.S., Europe, China, Japan and elsewhere during the three-month period ending October.

In the U.S. market, Android led the third quarter with 62.8% market share, compared to 33.6% for iOS. The U.S. smartphone market continues to be virtually a two-horse race between Apple and Google, with iOS and Android combining for 96.4% market share in the October quarter. Windows Phone was a distant third place with just 2.7% market share.

„With 33.6% of the U.S. smartphone market, Apple’s share remained down year-over-year, but up quarter-over-quarter, as iPhone 6s became the third best-selling smartphone,“ Milanesi added. „Samsung retained its leading position in the U.S. smartphone market and, for the first time in 2015, the South Korean brand was able to show year-on-year growth.“

Android continued to have the highest market share among mobile platforms worldwide, experiencing 1.6% year-over-year growth in Europe’s big five markets – United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. iOS adoption grew in China and Japan by 7% and 3.5% respectively compared to the year-ago quarter.

Kantar Worldpanel data shows the iPhone 6s accounted for 24% of all iPhones sold in the U.S. in the three months ending October, compared to 33% for the iPhone 6 in 2014, and 22% for the iPhone 5s in 2013. Kantar says „overall volumes are pretty much identical to what was sold in 2013, while down 25% from 2014’s sales.“

Kantar Worldpanel’s latest data is also available in chart format for those that cannot view the embedded map above.

Tags: iOS, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone, Kantar Worldpanel
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Kantar: iOS Adoption Rises in China as Android Grows in U.S. and Europe