Cortana has been a rather successful voice assistant from Microsoft. And while it continues to remain in alpha/beta for a lot of users globally, a new update today will allow even Android users, to replace that rather non-functional Google Now, with a more engaging Cortana.
A recent update labelled version 188.8.131.52 for Microsoft’s voice assistant makes it possible for users to choose Cortana as the app of their choice, that pops up when users long press or swipe up from the Home button on Android devices. This is in contrast to earlier, when opening Cortana required you to hunt for the app in the app drawer before tapping to open it.
The move comes as part of Microsoft’s ‘Windows Everywhere’ initiative that seeks to expand the range of Windows apps and services to include devices running other operating systems, such as Android or iOS. Recent times have seen Microsoft working hard to expand the range and content of the Windows ecosystem by introducing Windows apps to other platforms as well as introducing the App Portability Bridge, which allows developers to transfer existing apps between platforms.
However, there is still the fact that Google apps on the whole, have better integration than those offered by third-party providers, including Microsoft, as far as Android platform is concerned. Consider for example the fact, that while you can access Google Now by simply saying OK Google, there is no ‘OK Cortana’ feature available, due to compatibility issues.
But again, Cortana is very new and it undoubtedly has its advantages. Given the kind of effort Microsoft is putting into creating a Windows Ecosystem, it wouldn’t surprise us if they figure out a way around these little snags too.