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Cortana for Android now available for beta testers

By Ng Chong Seng - on 20 Jul 2015, 11:15am

Cortana for Android now available for beta testers

In May, Microsoft announced that it is bringing Cortana to other mobile platforms, and that the Android version will arrive in late June.

Well, it's July now, and while Cortana for Android hasn’t launched yet, there's an invite-only program (you need to be a Windows Insider) you can join to beta-test it. (Note: Microsoft did say this is only open to users in the U.S. and China.) Alternatively, there's an APK floating around for the adventurous. If all these sound too troublesome, you can also wait for the public beta that's said to be coming in the next few weeks.

Looking at the beta test survey form, it looks like at the moment, Cortana on Android Beta supports the following phones: Nexus 5 and 6; HTC One; LG G Flex and G Flex 2; LG G2 and G3; Moto X and Moto G; One Plus One; Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Note 4 and Galaxy S4, S5, and S6; and Sony Xperia Z3. The device also needs to be running at least Android 4.1.

This is how Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore describes the Cortana app back in May:

You can have Cortana remind you to pick up milk the next time you’re at the grocery store, and then your phone will wake up and buzz with the reminder. You’ll be able to track a flight using Cortana on both your phone and your PC, and get the updates on the device that you’re on so you don’t miss anything. Everything in Cortana’s Notebook will show up across all your devices and any changes you make on one device will be reflected when you use Cortana on any of your other devices. The Cortana companion app will help you complete tasks you begin on your PC wherever you are, on your phone.

That said, remember that since this is just an app, Cortana on Android (and iPhone) won’t be as powerful as Cortana on Windows or Windows Mobile. It’s unable to do things like toggling of settings, opening of apps, and hands-free “Hey Cortana” activation. Integration with other Microsoft apps and services like the Edge browser and Office is unlikely too.

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