Microsoft has been slowly adding more email intelligence to its Cortana digital assistant, but it has resisted integrating it directly into Outlook mobile. That’s about to change, soon. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s Outlook plans tell The Verge that the company is currently testing Cortana within Outlook on iOS and Android.
The Cortana integration will allow users of the popular mobile email client to listen to and respond to emails with their voice. This will be particularly useful during car journeys, and Microsoft is testing Cortana integration directly within Outlook mobile that will work over Bluetooth and read messages aloud. Users will be able to ask Cortana phrases like “what’s my email,” or just to read messages from specific contacts.
Microsoft is currently testing its Cortana integration internally, and if the feedback is positive then the feature should make its way to beta and public releases of Outlook for iOS and Android. News of Cortana integration in Outlook comes just weeks after Microsoft’s Outlook for iOS and Android boss transitioned to overseeing the Cortana digital assistant. Javier Soltero, who first joined Microsoft when the software maker acquired the Acompli email app, will report to Harry Shum, Microsoft’s head of AI and research.