Microsoft recently announced plans to bring its Cortana digital assistant software to Android and iOS devices. Now the company is giving us an updated timeframe: you’ll be able to try a beta of Cortana for Android phones in July.
The company had originally promised an Android release in June with an iOS version of Cortana coming later this year.
Cortana is a service that lets you search the web, set reminders, make appointments, take notes, and do much more just by talking to your device.
The service initially launched on Windows Phone devices, but Microsoft is also bringing Cortana to Windows 10 PCs, notebooks, tablets, and to the Xbox One game console.
The Android app is designed as a companion for Windows devices: your data can be synchronized between devices so that you can set a reminder on your phone and your Xbox or PC will interrupt you while you’re watching a movie or surfing the web to let you know that it’s time to walk the dog.
Since Cortana for Android won’t have the same deep integration with the operating system that it has on Windows Phone, some features may not be available. For instance, you’ll have to open the app to use Cortana: there’s no option to set your phone to listen for a “hey Cortana” voice command when the app isn’t in the foreground. I also wonder if it’ll be able to integrate with other Android apps to let yous end text messages, play music, or get directions.
We should find out in July.
Cortana on Windows Phone is pretty amazing. It has a few “whiz-bang” “wow” features, but some of the more mundane features are awesome. About an hour ago I was marveling at how well the contact-based reminders work when I needed to remind myself to ask a question during an upcoming phone call.
You just tell it: Remind me _____ when I speak to ______. Next time you call, email, or text that contact it will show you the reminder. Simple, but freaking amazing.
Also amazing is that it learns your favorite locations based on where you go most frequently. I asked it to remind me to borrow an extension cord when I was at my parent’s house. A few days later, I was at my parent’s house and the reminder popped up. I had completely forgotten about it, but the reminder was at the perfect time!
Looking forward to trying out the Android version of Cortana. Been testing the Windows10 version but the old hardware I have it running on doesn’t help. Also waiting for my invitation to try out Hound.
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