Amid all the discussion around Microsoft neglecting development of its smart assistant Cortana, the company today announced some big updates for the smart assistant. The latest updates take Cortana’s automation and smart home capabilities to a whole new level with support for IFTTT.
IFTTT, for those unfamiliar, is an automation service that connects with more than 600 services. IFTTT lets you connect an incredibly wide range of services, and it’s completely free. This means you can use Cortana to interact with automations (known as Applets) that you have setup on IFTTT. For example, you can use Cortana to activate an IFTTT applet that tweets something you out, or use it to perform multiple different actions at the same time. IFTTT works with a bunch of different services — Trello, Slack, Twitter, Instagram, Gmail, smart home services, GitHub, printers, and literally everything else.
Along with IFTTT support, Microsoft is bringing native support for some new home automation platforms. Cortana already works with things like the Philips Hue (although the support is quite limited in terms of functionality), but today’s update brings more support to the personal assistant. This includes devices from Ecobee, Honeywell Lyric, Honeywell Total Connect Comfort, LIFX, TP-Link Kasa, and Geeni.
Microsoft isn’t saying anything about the availability of these features, but they are likely limited to users in the United States. They are, however, available from Cortana on all devices, so you can use them regardless of where you are using Cortana from.