Over the past week, Microsoft has updated its Cortana apps on both Android and iOS with photo reminder and cross-device support. These changes make Cortana the only truly cross-platform personal digital assistant.
Cortana 1.9.5 shipped first on iOS last week, where it supports iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. But Microsoft updated the Android version of Cortana to 1.9.5 over the weekend to match; that version works on Android handsets and tablets.
The changelog for both is identical:
- Photo reminders. Now you can add a photo to a reminder. Try “Hey Cortana, remind me to pick this up at the store” and add your photo.
- Cross-device support. Cortana can remember what you tell her and recall it on demand, across all your devices.
So let’s look at both.
After making sure I had the latest version of the app, I ran Cortana on my iPhone, tapped the microphone icon, and said, “Remind me to buy a new mouse.” After a second, the basics of my new reminder appeared.
As you can see, there’s a new bit of UI there: An “Add a photo” link you can use to turn this reminder into a photo reminder. Tapping that link lets you use your phone’s camera or grab a photo from the phone’s collection. I chose the former, and captured a shot of the mouse I’m currently using.
From here, I could have changed the photo, but that looks fine, so I tapped Remind and created the new reminder.
Turning to my Windows 10-based Surface Book, I opened Cortana and checked my reminders. Sure enough, it was already there.
Of course, you would ideally be reminded at the appropriate place and/or time as well. So I set a time for the reminder on the phone. And sure enough, a reminder popped up on all of my devices: My Android phone, my iPhone, and the Surface Book, shown here.