It's the end of the line for the mobile version of Cortana.

Microsoft officially killed Cortana. Before you get excited (or cry – after all, some people like Cortana), you should know that Microsoft only pulls Cortana from Android and iOS devices.

The move isn't a complete surprise as Redmond has informed users that the voice search and personal assistance tool will reach the end of its current iteration sometime in 2021. Still, the actual announcement was cautious and surprised some users.

It's curtains for Cortana (on smartphones)

On March 31, 2021, Microsoft will end support for its Productivity Assistant on Android and iOS devices. The official statement on the official Microsoft support website confirms this.

As of March 31, 2021, the Cortana content you have created, such as reminders and lists, will no longer work in the Cortana mobile app, but can still be accessed through Cortana in Windows. In addition, Cortana reminders, lists and tasks are automatically synced with the Microsoft To Do app, which you can download for free on your phone.

Unfortunately, on iOS and Android devices, Cortana's death takes away your existing lists and reminders. As support will be completely discontinued, Microsoft will no longer offer support for existing content. This means that you should export existing lists or other items from Cortana to a separate app.

Related: Cortana on Android and iOS is notifying users that it will be discontinued soon

Microsoft is silencing Cortana for consumers

However, Cortana is not going away for good. Microsoft is silencing Cortana to further change the functionality of the tool. Cortana will continue development with an emphasis on productivity, product integration, and some of Microsoft's more business-centric tools and software.

For many, Cortana's demise on mobile has been a long time coming.

After Microsoft turned off its own smartphone devices, Cortana became an optional tool for Android and iOS devices. Both major mobile operating systems have their own popular voice assistants, Google Assistant for Android and Siri for iOS.

Related: Harman Kardon removes Cortana from his Cortana-powered smart speaker

When Cortana became an optional download with less integration and functionality than one of those native voice assistants, Cortana found it difficult to find a way back, at least in terms of consumer devices.

According to its own information, Cortana was no longer a competitor with Siri or Google Assistant, not to forget that the digital assistant Alexa from Amazon came onto the stage during the same period.

Microsoft's decision to move Cortana to a specialized productivity-centric tool rather than a generic voice assistant could breathe new life into it.

The wait for Cortana's next iteration begins now, but it won't be long before one of the least popular voice assistant apps turns out to be something new and exciting.

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About the author

Gavin Phillips
(806 articles published)

Gavin is the Junior Editor for Windows and Technology Explained, contributing regularly to the Really Useful Podcast, and was the Editor for MakeUseOf's crypto-focused sister site Blocks Decoded. He has a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Writing with Digital Art Practices Looted from the Devon Hills, as well as over a decade of writing experience. He enjoys plenty of tea, board games, and soccer.

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