Microsoft has quietly updated digital assistant Cortana on Android and iOS to be able to read emails from the Outlook mail app on devices running the two operating systems.
The feature was originally announced earlier this year, but according to reports, Cortana is already capable of reading emails from Outlook in the latest update to version 3.3.
Basically, once you set up Cortana on your iPhone or Android app, when you connect to your car’s Bluetooth audio, the digital assistant should display a prompt to read your emails. Cortana shows how long it takes to read your new email, and it allows you to perform certain tasks with voice commands, like flagging messages.
Cortana waits for input after reading each email, and you can delete, reply, or flag the message. If no command is given, Cortana just moves to the next message.
Additional controls are displayed on the screen, and the user can pause the reading at any moment.
Limited to beta users
On the other hand, when reading long messages that include multimedia content, like newsletters that come with banners, the digital assistant recommends the user to view the email on the screen.
For the time being, this feature appears to be limited to beta users, but if everything is working correctly, it should be rolled out to everyone in the coming weeks.
Cortana has improved a lot lately and this new update serves as a strong reason for iPhone users to give up on Siri and switch to Microsoft’s digital assistant. Of course, this approach helps make iPhone users more committed to the Microsoft app ecosystem, as it uses Outlook to read emails.
Outlook is right now one of the top email apps on mobile devices, but Cortana is far from becoming the preferred digital assistant on rival platforms, especially due to the deep integration of native solutions.