Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in his free time. Follow him on Twitter.
A little over a month ago, an early version of an Microsoft’s Cortana app for Android leaked to the Web. Microsoft is now finally ready to officially release it to the public with the announcement of a public beta.
Cortana can do most of the things she does on your Windows 10 PC or Windows Phone. You can set reminders, search the web, track flight details, and even ask her to sing you happy birthday.
Microsoft’s also made it so you can replace Google Now by launching Cortana when you press the home button.
That said, you still can’t activate the assistant from anywhere by saying ‘Hey Cortana’ as you could on a PC, or the way the ‘OK Google’ command works on mobile.
It’s a neat tool for folks who might be looking to get away from Google’s ecosystem, or just want to give another assistant a shot.
While Cortana duplicates much of the functionality of Google Now, her most useful feature is arguably the Notebook, which allows you to control exactly what information the assistant knows about your life, as well as train her to understand your preferences better, such as specifying your cuisine preferences.
Microsoft clearly has its sites set on Google, as it also recently released an update to Bing for Android that beat Google Now on Tap to the punch for contextual search based on the contents of your screen.
If you want to give Cortana a shot, you can enter the beta program with this link. You’ll then be able to download the app right from the Google Play Store.
➤ Cortana Now Available on Android in Public Beta [Windows Blog]
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