As part of the new Cortana refocusing strategy as a productivity assistant, Microsoft has announced that it’s ending support for the mobile apps available on Android and iOS. The company is also removing the digital assistant from the first-generation Surface Headphones and ending support for support for the Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker in 2021.
According to the company documentation (via Thurrott), the mobile apps will no longer be supported starting early 2021, because it’s now possible to manage your calendars and emails, join meetings, and more suing Cortana on Windows 10, in Outlook mobile, and soon in the Teams mobile app. Also, third-party Cortana skills are set to disappear on September 7.
The strategy also includes ending support for the Cortana service integration on the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker in January 2021. However, after this date, it doesn’t mean that you will no longer be able to use the speaker. To make sure you can keep listening to music or podcasts, Microsoft has worked with Harman Kardon to create a Bluetooth-enabled device transition plan to ease the impact of this change.
The change will arrive as an automatic firmware update for the smart speaker in early 2021. Once the Invoke is updated, Cortana will no longer be accessible on the device.
Furthermore, the company will be offering a Microsoft $50 gift card per active Invoke in the United States that sent a voice request to the Cortana service after July 31, 2019, and prior to this announcement.
Finally, sometime in 2021, Microsoft will remove Cortana from the first version of the Surface Headphones. However, you’ll still be able to access the assistant using both the first and second version of the headphones using the Outlook mobile app’s Play My Emails feature. Owners of first-generation Surface Headphones can learn more about a Microsoft gift card program in this support page.