Microsoft hasn’t had much luck in the mobile world, with its Windows Phone platform failing and its Cortana assistant struggling to compete with the likes of Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa. In fact, the Cortana app doesn’t even work on Android or iOS anymore.
Microsoft has announced that as of March 31, 2021, the Cortana mobile app will no longer be supported, but that any content you created on it – such as lists and reminders – will still be accessible through Cortana for Windows, or on the Microsoft To Do app.
The discontinuation of Cortana on smartphones doesn’t come as much of a surprise, not least because it happened a while back in some regions. It’s also arguably the weakest of the big name digital assistants (if you can even consider it a big name one) and is largely redundant on devices that come with alternatives built in.
- Cortana's no longer a candidate for the best Android apps
- Or the best iPhone apps
- This Windows 10 update might give you a reason to bother with Cortana
No need for more assistants
Even Amazon’s Alexa, which is enjoying plenty of success on smart home devices, isn’t talked about much in the context of smartphones, despite an Alexa app being available. This, again, is presumably because almost every phone already has Google Assistant or Siri, and users don’t feel much need for an alternative.
Cortana will live on for now, though, just not on your phone. It’s still available for Windows 10, and as it’s the default assistant there, we wouldn’t be surprised if it sticks around for a while – whether or not many people are using it.
Microsoft, for its part, claims that this move is part of Cortana’s continued “evolution as a productivity assistant,” which suggests it’s still committed to the service in some form, just one that’s more at home on desktops and in business.
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.