Microsoft is adding a voice-to-text feature on its Outlook mobile app on iOS, which will allow users to write emails, schedule meetings, and search for emails using their voice
This will be powered by the company’s own virtual assistant “Cortana”, debuting first in Outlook for iOS, and later on Andriod shortly. Although Microsoft offers some form of Voice-to-text capabilities through its “Swift key keyboard“, the company is going full-blown on this new project. A plus sign icon in Outlook mobile will appear to activate the voice mode.
You will now be able to write new emails using the voice-to-text functionality, respond to emails using your voice on iOS. Microsoft also launched a new feature for its Microsoft 365 service.
This new feature is the “Scheduler”, which was designed for Microsoft 365 administrators in mind. It uses a backend service that helps schedule meetings. This also relies on Cortana heavily.
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You can now use Cortana to set up meetings, reply to colleagues about a meeting or simply write “Cortana, please find a time to meet next week”; and the scheduler should find the most appropriate time; and arrange the meeting based on your schedule.
Microsoft launched the productivity assistant “Cortana” for iOS and Andriod in December 2015; this Scheduler feature is a big move to make the virtual assistant comparable among the likes of Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa.
The Redmond-based company shut down the Cortana app earlier this year; as its CEO Satya Nadella previously admitted the company’s difficulties competing with other digital assistants. Will these new mobile app updates to the iOS and Andriod platforms give Cortana a new lifeline? Well, we have to watch and see.
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