Microsoft is planning to release the digital assistant it developed, Cortana, also for Android devices. Saturday a beta version of Cortana for Android leaked online.
Even though Microsoft hasn’t announced any official date of release yet, it did create a beta program for a number of people in China and the United States, who are able to test the assistant before it launches. Cortana was leaked on the Internet as an .APK file, which means that it is the beta program that leaked online.
Users are able to install the file by turning off a setting which is related to side loading apps. It is a very simple process on any Android device.
Creating an Android version of Cortana is a pretty huge step for the company, as this will broaden Microsoft’s reach to a lot more people. Most people who have PCs prefer Windows a lot more than other operating systems, however, when it comes to tablets or smartphones, people most probably choose iOS and Android over Windows. The new Windows 10 will also begin to roll out by the end of the month and it will include a desktop version of Cortana. This means that people will want to sync the desktop version of the digital assistant with the mobile one. This couldn’t be possible for iOS and Android users if Microsoft would have decided to allow the assistant to work only on Windows phones.
Even though the Android version of Cortana won’t be as powerful as the one found on Windows phones, it will come with numerous features included. For example, people will be able to find out things about nearby bars or restaurants in order to have a drink or something to eat. The assistant will also be able to add reminders, get sporting updates and news, answer questions and bring up and add events to the calendar. However, some of the well-known features, like saying “Hey Cortana” in order to open the app, will be unavailable in the Android version.
The beta version of the digital assistant developed by Microsoft for Android devices is at the moment unofficially available to any users that want to have a look at it. The only requirement imposed by the application is that you have Android 4.4 KitKat or higher installed on your device. The official beta for Cortana on Android should be made available sometime in the upcoming weeks.
Image Source: news.xbox.com