Six months after Microsoft announced plans to bring Cortana to iOS, the digital assistant has officially started beta testing on Apple’s platform.
Microsoft is now inviting select iOS users to beta test Cortana on iOS using Apple’s TestFlight app. As with Cortana on Windows 10 Mobile, you can use Cortana for iOS to do things like set meetings and get reminders for them, get info on restaurants and movies, send emails and text messages, track flights, and more. Cortana can’t have the same deep integration on iOS that it has on Windows, though, so you can’t do things like hold down the iPhone’s home button to bring up Cortana instead of Siri.
Apple’s TestFlight program allows a maximum of 2000 testers per app, so Cortana for iOS is currently in a pretty limited testing period. However, it’s possible that Microsoft could eventually launch Cortana in the App Store and label it as a beta after ironing out some kinks in this limited TestFlight beta.
As I mentioned before, Cortana won’t be as tightly integrated on iOS as it is on Windows since Apple owns iOS and Apple has its own digital assistant that it wants iOS folks using. That said, Cortana could still be an attractive option for iPhone users on Windows because it would let them set reminders and perform some other tasks on their PC and have that info show up on their phone. The bad news is that Microsoft has made no announcements about when we might see Cortana made available to all iOS users, so for now we’ll just have to be jealous of the people that are in Cortana’s TestFlight beta.
— Diego Guarrella (@Fomalhaut_01) November 26, 2015