Version 3.0 redesign of Cortana, released in beta last month, is available to all iOS users. Added interface updates, “conversation experience” with voice assist, listening to music and podcasts, and setting up Cortana devices. Both features are particularly appropriate given the fact that Microsoft’s surface headphones will be available next week on November 19th.
As expected, this update improves integration with Microsoft’s remaining service ecosystem. Now you can use this app to join Skype or Teams (Microsoft’s Slack version) meetings and access your appointments, meetings, emails, reminders and tasks.
The interface has changed a lot since the beta we saw last month. Rather than being made up of three tabs, the final version of the update has a single tab called “Future” that shows an overview of the day. Additional features, such as reminders or lists, are available from the slide-in menu on the right. Overall, it’s a much cleaner update than last year’s version 2.6, focusing on the gaps that make the whole interface less cluttered.
In spite of the fact that Cortana’s capabilities lag behind the competition, Microsoft makes it clear that voice assistants are an important component of their ecosystem and recognize their services as a way to connect with competing voice volunteers. It has recently gained an artificial intelligence start with an emphasis on making bots like Cortana more humane.