Cue the clicktastic headlines, bloggers: Microsoft revealed today that Windows 10 will ship with a new Phone Companion app that will treat Android and iPhone equally to Windows Phone. Not disastrous enough? Microsoft will also port Cortana to Android and iPhone this year too.
I’ll pause a moment while you compose yourself. OK? No? Just breathe into this bag for a moment so we can get through this.
“We’re building Windows 10 to be terrific at connecting all your devices,” Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore is credited with writing in a new post. “In a multi-device world where you move between your phone, tablet, and PC multiple times a day, you expect your experience to go wherever you do … we also realize that many people use iPhones or Android phones, and we want them to enjoy some of their Windows experience and content while away from their Windows 10 PC.”
Bob, seriously. I can hear you hyperventilating from here. Relax. We can do this.
Anyway, to summarize the painful news succinctly, Microsoft has announced the following.
Phone Companion app for Windows 10. Windows 10 will ship with a new Phone Companion app that “will help you connect your Windows PC to whatever phone you own– whether it’s a Windows phone, Android phone, or iPhone.” It will “magically” replicate all of your files and content between the PC and the phone.
Improved Music app for Android and iOS. The currently lackluster (Xbox) Music app on Android and iOS will be updated to include (free) compatibility with your OneDrive-based music collection. “This means the music playlists you spend hours putting together on your Windows 10 PC will now show up and be playable on your phone, automatically,” Microsoft says.
Cortana is coming to Android and iOS. This is the big one, in many ways. In addition to shipping the Cortana personal digital assistant in Windows 10 this year, Microsoft will deliver a Cortana app on Android and iOS this year. “The Phone Companion app on the PC will help you install the Cortana app from the Google Play or Apple App Store onto your phone so you’ll be able to take the intelligence of Cortana with you, wherever you go,” Microsoft explains.
Guys, can we get some medical assistance up front? It looks like someone has passed out.
So let’s all let that settle in. Take some comfort in the fact that Cortana will be “just an app” on rival platforms and thus can’t match the functionality or seamlessness of Cortana on Windows 10/Phone. And try to come to terms with the notion that this is really about getting people to accept—no, love—Windows 10.
“At Microsoft, we want everyone to love not just their Windows 10 PC, but all the devices they own, working with their Windows 10 PC,” Belfiore concludes.