Microsoft revealed that it plans to kill its Cortana app for iOS and Android in January. The software maker is releasing a new support article for Cortana users in the UK, Canada and Australia, which reveals that Cortana for iOS and Android is disappearing in at least these markets. "To make your personal digital assistant as useful as possible, we are integrating Cortana into your Microsoft 365 productivity applications," a UK support release said. "As part of this evolution, on January 31, 2020, we are ending support for the Cortana App for Android and iOS in your market." We reached out to Microsoft for clarification as there is no such support article on the Microsoft site. The full support note also reveals that Cortana will disappear from Microsoft's Android launcher app after January 31
The Microsoft Cortana application is also used to configure settings and update firmware for devices such as corporate surface headsets. Microsoft has not mentioned how surface handset owners in the UK and elsewhere will continue to access these features.
Microsoft initially launched Cortana for iOS and Android in December 2015 and was originally created to connect computers to Windows 10 and mobile phone devices. Despite a major redesign, Microsoft has not been able to compete with other digital assistants by phone and elsewhere. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed earlier this year that the company no longer sees Cortana as a competitor to Alexa and Google Assistant.
Microsoft is already focused on integrating Cortana into more business-oriented parts of Microsoft 365. Cortana is also integrated directly into Outlook for iOS and Android, so it can read voice emails on the go.
Here is the full support note from the Microsoft UK website:
To make your personal digital assistant as useful as possible, we integrate Cortana into your Microsoft 365 productivity applications. As part of this evolution of 31 January 2020 We are ending support for the Cortana app for Android and iOS in your market. At this point, the Cortana content you create – such as reminders and lists – will no longer function on the Cortana or Microsoft Launcher mobile application, but can still be accessed through Cortana on Windows. Also, Cortana reminders, lists and tasks are automatically synchronized with the Microsoft To Do application, which you can download for free on your phone.
After January 31, 2020, the Cortana mobile application on your phone will no longer be supported and there will be an updated version of Microsoft Launcher with Cortana removed.