Cortana, Microsoft

We love pushing everything to its limits. The same holds good for technology and in this ever ‘smartening’ world of tech, digital assistants aren’t too much to ask for, are they?

Making this dream a reality, Apple launched the first ever personalized digital assistant named Siri three years ago. This was followed closely by Google’s Google Now, which tried to take the personalization to the next level. And could you even imagine Microsoft holding back in the race?

To counter the moves of its rivals, Microsoft brought to life its Artificial Intelligence from its highly popular gaming franchise Halo. The AI was called Cortana and though it wasn’t as sassy as the game version, it could do almost anything that Siri and Google Now could achieve. The only difference was that Cortana was targeted only towards Windows devices, while Siri was an Apple prodigy and Google Now somehow ended up being a cross-platform feature.

Well, that’s about to change now. Cortana was expected to be integrated into Android for a while now. Microsoft had officially announced that the app would launch for Android soon, in May. And just a few weeks ago, we saw the first private beta of this application for the open-source OS. Today, the Redmond giant announced through a blog post that Cortana’s beta Android version will now go public.

Microsoft wants you to enjoy Cortana’s perks on both your PC and your smartphone (it looks like they know that most people skip Windows Phones). The blog post reads:

If you are currently a Windows 10 user, you already know the benefits of Cortana. The Cortana app on Android is the companion to your Windows 10 PC, extending Cortana’s functionality across any device you carry, everywhere you go.

The Cortana app can do most of the things Cortana does on your PC or on a Windows phone. With the app, you can manage your hectic lifestyle by setting and getting reminders, searching the web on-the-go, tracking important information such as flight details as well as starting and completing tasks across all of your devices.

While you won’t get every feature of Cortana on your Android device right away as the service still doesn’t have full access to your smartphone, most of them are expected to launch soon.  For instance, you won’t be able to just say “Hey Cortana” for now and opening apps and toggling settings will take a while to be ported.

You will also see a few differences between what Cortana can do today in her “native” environment (Windows) and in the app on Android. For example toggling settings, opening apps or invoking Cortana hands-free by saying “Hey Cortana” are only available on Windows for now. As with all betas, we are continually improving the experience and will incorporate feedback along the way.

The app is being currently rolled out only in the US but according to the tech giant, the service will be going global soon enough. Also, the latest version is only compatible on Android smartphones and tablet users will have to wait for future notifications.

To get the app, you will need to sign up for the public beta. Just head over here and follow the instructions. Users of iOS have still got a while to wait until they get Siri’s Windows counterpart on their devices.


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