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Cortana's Android beta leaked, Microsoft says official release in 'few weeks'

By Dieter Holger
Jul 20, 2015
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  1. Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant app inspired by Halo's female A.I. character, is now downloadable for Android -- though not by any official means. The software's Android beta, which is available to Windows Insider Program participants in the U.S. and China, was leaked by one of the testers.

    Microsoft responded to the leak saying an official release of Cortana for Android will be distributed in "the next few weeks," according to an email acquired by ZDNet. Previously, Cortana was unique to Windows Phones, but Microsoft is taking it cross-platform with standalone apps for iOS and Android, in addition to natively integrating the feature with Windows 10.

    Microsoft knows they don't hold a lion's share of the mobile market, which is why offering Cortana outside of Windows Phone is smart. Plus, by supporting Cortana on Windows, Xbox, Android and iOS, the company has a shot at making Cortana the most popular cross-platform virtual assistant. It'll have to fight for that spot with Google Now, which runs on Android, iOS and Chrome.

    Cortana offers the same comprehensive features of Google Now and Siri, like making calls, sending messages, editing the calendar and taking suggestions from the web. But since Microsoft can't tap directly into a third-party OS, there are things Cortana won’t be able to do on iOS or Android, such as toggling system settings, opening apps and responding hands-free when users say "Hey Cortana”.

    For now, Cortana's full mobile potential is exclusive to Windows Phone, and as beta users noticed, a Microsoft account is needed to use Cortana on Android. Microsoft is also unveiling a Windows 10 Phone Companion app that will allow users to connect their PCs to Android, iOS and Windows phones “to ensure your key Windows experiences—your photos, your music, your docs – move effortlessly wherever you do.”

    You can find the leaked Cortana Android APK here. Be warned, this is an unsupported version. You can also watch a demo of Cortana for Android below.

    Permalink to story.

  2. JamesandBennie

    JamesandBennie TS Booster Posts: 170   +14

    Bringing Cortana to Android isn't going to help sell Windows Phones. Stupid decisions like this gives me the impression that Microsoft just doesn't want WP to be successful.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    It's not all about selling Windows phones, it's about getting your app into the hands of as many people as possible and strutting your stuff. If lots of people like it they'll say " Hey, this is a great app dude (saying 'dude' is very important) I'm gonna try one of these Windows gadgets next time I upgrade". Clever eh?
  4. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,008   +74

    This is exactly why I switched to android. it's been obvious that MS has no love for its own WP after all. years ago WP had some exclusive apps that justifies the decision of buying a WP. today, those exclusive apps are available in Android, together with the fact most of those apps do work better in Android. together with the demise of Nokia, I just cant wait till MS-branded phones shut down for real. they're a joke.

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