Cortana 2.0 Brings New UX to iPhone

Posted on March 10, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Mobile, Windows 10 with 9 Comments

Three months after its release on Android, Cortana 2.0 is now available on iPhone as well. The big news here is a redesigned user experience, but this release also includes other new features.

Here’s what’s new in Cortana 2.0 for iPhone:

New UX. Cortana 2.0 brings “a fresh new look with an improved user experience.” By which Microsoft means, the dark gray UI is now purple and there are a few more prompts to do stuff.

Old Cortana UX (left) and the 2.0 version (right)

Redesigned calling, texting, and reminders. In addition to the color scheme change noted above, Cortana 2.0 also features redesigned calling, texting, and reminders. I don’t have any pending reminders, but looking at the New reminder screen, that does appear to be redesigned with a cleaner new UI.

More immersive full-page answers. As before, Cortana prompts you with potential questions you can ask—“Show me top headlines,” “When does Fall begin,” “Where was Obama born?” and so on—but I’m not seeing anything particularly immersive or new in the answers. Maybe I’m asking the wrong questions.

Better performance. Microsoft notes that Cortana 2.0 provides “faster page transitions and improved app responsiveness.”

Obviously, Microsoft will continue updating Cortana across its supported platforms, and if you use this personal digital assistant, you have probably noticed an escalation of routine reminders, like daily weather, across Android and iOS already. But more is coming: I’m on the Cortana beta on Android, and there I see that a coming 2.5 release will bring Cortana support to the lock screen. (At least on Android devices; it’s not clear if this can happen on iOS as well.)

You can download Cortana 2.0 for iPhone from the Apple Apps Store.

You can download Cortana 2.5 Beta for Android from the Google Play Store.


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