iPhone owners are most accustomed to using #Siri for their voice-powered assistant needs, given the AI is well integrated with iOS. However, #Microsoft, along with Google, are hell-bent on providing an alternative to Apple’s platform through a revamped #Cortana. Launched Friday, the overhauled Cortana has updates that make a powerful rival to Siri right on its own turf. With these changes, does Cortana now match or even surpass Apple’s native voice assistant?

Cortana 2.0

Already up on Apple’s App Store, Microsoft’s new Cortana requires iOS 9.0 and up to work with an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Along with its fresh aesthetics, the updated Cortana should provide better user experience overall.

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Its texting and calling features have been redesigned as well as its improved full-page answers. The AI allows for better app responsiveness and faster page transitions.

Cortana for iOS has faster load times and one of its greatest fixes is that the question and voice command settings are set by default. For long-time fans of Microsoft’s AI, the redesign is quite obvious – its dark gray interface has now been changed to a surprising shade of purple. More prompts are also added that let users complete tasks right away.

Taking cues from Google, the Cortana app for iOS now has information cards on its homescreen where one can view news, weather and traffic updates, package deliveries and nearby restaurants. From most places in the app, tapping an icon in the lower-left will activate “quick action” buttons for commands and info without speaking.

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Additionally, users will find it a lot easier to check on meetings or organize them, set and review alarms, and switch from one command to another seamlessly.

Cortana vs. Siri

Despite Cortana getting a makeover, it’s safe to say that at this point, Microsoft’s native voice assistant is likely of less use to most iPhone users than Siri because of restrictions. For one, Cortana cannot be triggered or used when outside of the app; secondly, it doesn’t really connect with native iOS services. However, it does serve well if one has a Windows 10 computer, which has Cortana integrated.

Microsoft announced the new Cortana for iOS in December. Apple, on the other hand, is believed to be hard at work with Siri enhancements for the upcoming iPhones, according to Apple Insider.