Microsoft has confirmed what we always suspected. That it is taking away Cortana functionality on Android and iOS early next year, at least in certain markets.
That is to say, while the US users are safe, Cortana will no longer be available in the UK, Australia, Germany, Mexico, China, Spain, Canada, and India come January.
The applications on both the platform are done for now. And this also includes the Cortana experience inside Microsoft Launcher, the popular solution on Android that pays host to a ton of Microsoft software, solutions, and services.
Redmond will release an update to Microsoft Launcher around January 31 to remove Cortana.
This is what the company said:
“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.”
Smooth choice of words, but Cortana really was not going anywhere, truth be told.
Microsoft now wants to bake its voice assistant service inside Microsoft 365 enabled productivity apps like Outlook and Teams.
Cortana on Windows 10 will remain for users that wish to use the voice service, though. Redmond is currently in the middle of building out a new Cortana experience for the OS with the 20H1 release.
But what this basically means is that users on other mobile OS that are trying to be part of the Microsoft ecosystem will not be able to use the digital assistant as default. She will also not be an option for users that want to ask her simple questions like the weather, or how far away a certain city is.
A real shame.