Microsoft is planning to bring its Cortana digital assistant to iOS and Android as a standalone app. While the software maker has previously confirmed Cortana would come to additional operating systems, Reuters reports that the standalone app will be available on phones and tablets running iOS and Android. Microsoft is currently building Cortana into Windows 10, which is set to debut later this year, and it’s likely that the digital assistant will make its way on to Android and iOS alongside its PC expansion.
In an interview with Reuters, Microsoft’s Eric Horvitz, managing director of Microsoft Research, reveals that the company is planning a bigger roll out of Cortana later this year. “This kind of technology, which can read and understand email, will play a central role in the next roll out of Cortana, which we are working on now for the fall time frame,” says Horvitz. Microsoft is currently developing a more advanced version of Cortana, codenamed project Einstein, that pulls data from artificial intelligence. While there’s not many details on Einstein from Reuters’ report, it appears to be an effort to improve the awareness of Cortana and its ability to automate even more tasks.
Microsoft’s move to bring Cortana to iOS and Android won’t surprise many. The software maker has consistently shown that it’s willing to bring its best Windows features to rival platforms in an overall effort to improve its services and apps. While Cortana is a standout feature for Windows Phone, and soon Windows 10, the small amount of consumers using it won’t help Microsoft’s goal of improving its digital assistant with machine learning techniques and bringing its services and apps to all smartphone and tablet owners. It’s a natural part of Microsoft’s continued transformation to return to its software roots with its apps and services running on every device.
More from theverge.com: