Microsoft has revealed that it is planning to kill its Cortana app for iOS and Android in January. The software maker has a new support article for Cortana users in the UK, Canadaand Australia that reveals that Cortana for iOS and Android is disappearing in all those markets. "To make your personal digital assistant as useful as possible, we integrate Cortana into your Microsoft 365 productivity apps," reads a support note in the UK. "As part of this evolution, we will end January 31, 2020 support for the Cortana app on Android and iOS in your market."
It is not clear whether the Cortana for iOS and Android app will continue to work in the US, and we have contacted Microsoft for clarification because there is no such support article on the US site of Microsoft. The full support note also shows that Cortana will disappear from Microsoft's Android Launcher app after January 31 in the UK, Canada and Australia.
The Cortana app from Microsoft is also used to configure settings and update the firmware for devices such as the company's Surface Headphones. Microsoft has not mentioned how Surface Headphones owners in the UK and elsewhere will continue to access these features.
Microsoft originally introduced Cortana in December 2015 and was originally designed to connect Windows 10 PCs and mobile phones. Despite a major redesign, Microsoft has failed to compete with other digital assistants on the phone and elsewhere. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed earlier this year that the company no longer sees Cortana as a competitor of Alexa and Google Assistant.
Microsoft is now focused on integrating Cortana into more business-focused parts of Microsoft 365. Cortana is also directly integrated into Outlook for iOS and Android so that it can read emails aloud on the go.
Here is the full support note from the UK site of Microsoft:
To make your personal digital assistant as useful as possible, we integrate Cortana into your Microsoft 365 productivity apps. As part of this evolution, we will end support for the Cortana app on Android and iOS in your market on January 31, 2020. At that time, the Cortana content that you have created – such as reminders and lists – will no longer work in the Cortana mobile app or Microsoft Launcher, but you can still access it through Cortana on Windows. Cortana reminders, lists and tasks are also automatically synchronized with the Microsoft To Do app, which you can download to your phone for free.
After January 31, 2020, the Cortana mobile app on your phone will no longer be supported and an updated version of Microsoft Launcher with Cortana will be removed.