Cortana AH 2

Cortana Can Now Be Used As Your Default Voice Assistant

August 9, 2015 - Written By Diego Macias

Digital assistants are becoming very popular as they manage to control some aspects of smartphones without even touching the device. That’s just one thing they have in common, but companies are working on ways to make their apps differentiate from each other. Microsoft built theirs and named it Cortana, it was supposedly inspired on real-life personal assistant with features like the Notebook, which it uses to learn more about the user’s preferences, plus it seems to have developed a personality of her own. Microsoft has been developing some apps for the Android operating system and last month they started testing Cortana on it and now the app is getting updated for those users who managed to install it in their phones.

The update allows Android users to activate it just like they activate Google Now, by holding the hardware Home button or sliding upwards on the on-screen Home button. In other words, Microsoft expects Android users to replace Google Now with Cortana, by accessing the shortcut, it prompts a message to choose the digital assistant of their preference with the typical message to select if they only want to use that choice once or always. Still, the voice command “Hey, Cortana” is unavailable due to hardware limitations, although the voice command for Google Now works with a large variety of phones, so perhaps Microsoft could eventually make it work.

Even if Cortana doesn’t get all of the functionality that it has on Windows products, it would be interesting for users of Windows 10 who have Android phones to install Cortana as it would learn about their preferences in both platforms, providing suggestions based on them as well as reminders. It comes to the user’s preference as to which assistant to use, perhaps they like the looks of an interface better than the other or maybe the decision could be based on which e-mail account they use the most. For anyone interested, they could sign-up for the beta test or download the apk file from one of the many sources. Microsoft is also bringing Cortana to iOS, but it could have even more limitations in that operating system.