Here Comes The First Public Beta Of Microsoft’s Cortana For Android
Previously, Microsoft had previously only released a private beta (not counting a number of leaks) of its personal digital assistant, Cortana, for the Android mobile operating system. But that changes now as the company has decided to officially make available a beta version of Cortana for Android for the general public.
As explained by Microsoft, its Cortana mobile app can serve as a very handy companion to the user’s Windows 10 PC, boosting the functionality of the service across any mobile device being used by the consumer. As for the Cortana app for Android, not much has changed compared to the version that runs on PCs. Users can use the personal digital assistant to create reminders, search for information from the Internet, monitor flight information, as well as the usual voice controlled searches that Cortana has long been able to do on other platforms.
It should be noted though that Cortana does not have full access to a user’s Android device. This means that for now, users will not be able to utter “Hey Cortana” in order to launch the mobile app. Also, users will not be able to launch other mobile apps from Cortana or toggle settings. Currently, all of these features are only available on Windows 10 PCs.
Interested in trying out the public beta? You will have to sign up to participate, but fortunately, Microsoft has improved the sign up process for Android mobile apps. No longer are you required to join a Google Group or Google+ community, you need only click one button to get in. The Cortana mobile app for Android is only made available in the United States, but Microsoft certainly has plans to deploy it to other markets at a later date. Moreover, it appears that the current version is only compatible with Android smartphones (not so much with Android tablets).
As stated by Microsoft recently, the company is also working on a version of the Cortana mobile app that runs on the iOS mobile operating system. It is not clear yet when this version will be made available for public use.
Cortana is considered a core service of Windows 10, and is directly competing with other personal digital assistants, such as Apple’s Siri and Google’s Now service. Back in July earlier this year, Microsoft had revealed that it was testing a beta version of the Cortana service for Android with a very limited number of testers based in the US and in China.