Microsoft Virtual Personal Assistant Cortana Now Available on Android!
Microsoft’s much talked about person digital-assistant Cortana is now available for Android users in Public Beta. Any Android user can now download Cortana from Play store and install it on their Android phones. iOS version of Cortana is on its way according to official announcement.
If you have been using Windows 10 PC or a Windows phone, chances are you are already using Cortana. If you are not aware of Cortana – it is an intelligent virtual personal assistant that helps you carry out many tasks including setting and getting reminders, searching the web on-the-go, tracking important information such as flight details as well as starting and completing tasks across all of your devices.
Cortana for PC was till now available for in private beta for limited number of users in US, UK and few other countries. Last month at the launch of Windows 10 OS, Microsoft announced that they will be launching Cortana in many more countries including U.S., U.K., China, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia, Japan, India and Canada.
How is Cortana Different?
Cortana is not the first virtual personal assistant, Apple has Siri, Google has Google Now along with few others. However, Cortana is different, atleast that’s what Microsoft claims it to be. Microsoft says Cortana has been configured to understand cultural and local sensibilities. It is customized as per the user requirements of various geographical regions. It is also customized to reflect the local language, idioms, and speech patterns of each country.
Marcus Ash, Group Program Manager for says, “Our goal with Cortana is to deliver a culturally relevant, approachable and helpful assistant as part of a great experience on Windows 10 devices,”.
The announcement does not specify whether Cortana will bring this intelligence to Android version as well, but we are pretty sure it will work differently for different geographies. For example, Cortana will track air quality and actively provide that information to its users in China, whereas it will play the national anthem when asked to play a song in Italy, thus reflecting their patriotism.
It also understands how the people in U.K. like self-deprecating humour. It will also use playful sarcasm in its responses if it detects you’re fooling around.
We downloaded Cortana – however, our experience with it was not all that great. While the speech recognition worked extremely well, Cortana does not seem to be audio enabled at all, like it is in case of PCs. The Android version looks more like a toned down version. Given that it is still in the beta, we will give it benefit of the doubt. Hoping the upcoming versions are voice enabled!
Users can access the Cortana app for Android via this link. Please note, Cortana on Android is currently available in the U.S. only, Microsoft is soon rolling out for other countries as well. (Note: You can still download and try it out. You will not get local customizations as yet, and will access US version)