After Microsoft dropped its Echo, it’s turning off its Alexa rival on Android and iPhone

The decision removes a voice assistant option for Android and iPhone users. While there are still Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa around, those deeply invested in Microsoft’s software and hardware suite may have preferred an option with closer ties to Windows 10 and Xbox.

Cortana was launched a little less than three years ago in November 2018 on Android and iOS with its own app. Removal from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store will prevent new users from downloading and installing the software. For those who have not yet deleted the app from their device, it will not be automatically removed from your phone.

However, any content you created in the Cortana app will no longer work in the software.

Lists and reminders are no longer available or can no longer be edited in the Cortana app. If you need to access any of these items, you’ll need to download Microsoft’s To-Do app on iOS and Android instead. If you’d rather use voice commands, you can still use Cortana to bring up your lists – but only on Windows 10.

After Cortana was completely removed from Windows 10, Microsoft is slowly bringing back the chatty voice assistant for a limited number of features. Microsoft has promised to shift focus so that the Halo-inspired voice assistant will help users with Microsoft 365 services.

With the core parts of Siri and Google Assistant from iOS and Android, respectively, using an alternate voice assistant requires some work. Finding and launching a dedicated app to use a voice command is much more difficult than the hands-free access that the default settings from Apple and Google provide. Removing the Cortana app from the App Store and Google Play Store seems like an admission that a device-independent voice assistant wasn’t as popular with smartphone owners as Microsoft had hoped.

The costs associated with maintaining and updating these mobile apps were clearly no longer worthwhile for Microsoft.

For the most dedicated Windows 10 users, this is a real blow. But for most iPhone and Android users, they probably won’t even notice the disappearance.

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