Cortana vs Siri

Cortana vs Siri. Difference Between Siri And Cortana

Within a short span of time, smart virtual personal assistants have become an integral part of mobile platforms and apps. Apple has developed Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface (Siri) as an intelligent personal assistant for devices powered by iOS, watchOS or tvOS. Likewise, Cortana is an intelligent personal assistance developed by Microsoft for devices powered by Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

But Microsoft recently made Cortana app available on non-Window devices. Thus, the iPhone users now have option to choose from Siri and Cortana. Many users have also stated that the Cortana app is running smoothly on various iOS devices. The two virtual personal assistants offer a number of similar features and functionality. At the same time, they also differ from each other in terms of features, performance and user experience. So we decided to compare Cortana vs Siri to find out how device owners and app developers can benefit from the data.

Cortana vs Siri: Understanding Major Differences between Siri and Cortana


At present, Siri is available only for devices powered by iOS, watchOS or tvOS. Microsoft initially designed Cortana for devices powered by Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. But the company recently made its virtual personal assistant available to smartphones powered by iOS and Android. Hence, Cortana can now be used by users on smartphones powered by different mobile operating systems.

Cross-Platform Service:

Unlike Siri, Cortana is cross-platform. So it allows users to share preferences and information over a wide range of devices powered by different platforms. So it becomes easier for users to avail personalized service and recommendation while using devices ranging from iPhone to Android tablets and Windows 10 desktops. The feature encourages many people to use Cortana as their professional aide in various environments.


Both Siri and Cortana can perform a number of common tasks including make calls to contacts, send emails and text messages, search the web, launch application, set alarms, make reminders, get directions, and make conversations. But Cortana is designed with a number of unique features like Shazam-style music recognition and finding flight information and flight times. Also, it reminds users to send an email or text message through contact-based reminders.

On-Phone Functions:

A user now has option to use both Siri and Cortana on his iPhone. But Siri is still the default virtual personal assistant for iOS. Unlike Cortana, Siri can perform commands when a user touches the home button. Likewise, it can take advantage of on-phone functions like dialling phone numbers, sending text messages, sending emails, and turning Bluetooth on exclusively. Also, they still do not have option to avail instant service simply by saying “Hey Cortana” in a manner similar to “Hey Siri”.

Providing More Relevant Information:

Cortana cannot take advantage of the built-in functions of non-Widows platforms. But it has got features to maintain a list of choices and preferences of users. The list called notebook enables Cortana to provide more relevant information to each user based on his preferences. For instance, each time a user open the Cortana app, it will display the weather information based on his location. Also, the user has option to make the assistant smarter by customizing fifteen different types of information.


Unlike other virtual personal assistants, both Windows 10 mobile and Windows 10 desktop operating system contain Cortana by default. So it is considered to be more flexible than Siri. However, a number of website recently reported that Apple is planning to make Siri available for Mac OS X. So the users will soon have option to share information and preferences across iPhones, iPads and Macs.


In August 2015, Bob Huddleston carried out an experiment to assess the performance of major virtual assistants including Siri and Cortana. Based on his experiments, he rated Siri more than Cortana in terms of relevancy and performance. According to his observation, Siri provides and displays correct answers most of the times. Cortana simply opens a web browser, and initiate a web search more frequently than Siri. However, many users have stated that Cortana assesses their choice and preferences more accurately, and delivers more relevant information.

Both Microsoft and Google have been updating their respective virtual personal assistants on a regular basis. While developing, the mobile app developers can always focus on Siri or Cortana according to the targeted mobile platform. But they must keep in mind the differences between Siri and Cortana when developing and testing cross-platform mobile applications. Interested readers can read on a similar comparison between Alexa and Cortana.

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