Microsoft has been opening up its hitherto closed ecosystem lately. In a major move along the same direction, Cortana, which was originally launched on the Microsoft Band exclusively for Windows Phones, is being extended to Android devices as well.
Although the feature is limited to the US for now, we can hope for a wider availability in the near future. Cortana brings along a bunch of voice commands along with the ability to reply to texts and notifications.The band 2 has always worked with Android phones. However, downloading and installing the latest update for Microsoft health through the Google Play Store will let you deploy Cortana as well.
Cortana is now available on Android – With Cortana on your Band, you can access your personal assistant for instant notifications of important events, communications, and voice-active info without reaching for your phone. Speak into the mic on your Band to Cortana to take actions for you.
Microsoft has been consistently updating its Band software, so users also get the ability to create fitness challenges with their friends — provided of course, that all of them have one of the bands. Cortana can be used for audio guided workouts and workout reminders when paired with a Windows Phone, so perhaps we will have those too. Some of the other features of the band include email, text, calendar, call alerts, and social updates
However, some users are also talking about heavy battery drain and instances of the app crashing, after the latest update. We will let you know more as soon as we figure out if its a local issue with some devices or if it is the result of a problem with the app itself.
So yes, if you are in the US and in possession of one of these bands along with an Android, knock yourself out, just download the app from the Play Store. Cortana is arguably better than Google Now — at least in my opinion — so Microsoft’s decision to allow it board Android — if indirectly — seems like a smart move to me.
What’s next i wonder? Surely, iOS support would make a lot of sense in a country like the US. Meanwhile, the move also bodes well for Microsoft’s hyped about earphones which are supposed to be powered completely by its voice assistant.