Microsoft has updated its Cortana for Android beta app to enable it to replace Google Now.
The company launched a beta version of the Cortana personal assistant app for Android last month. To all intents and purposes it was a fully operational version of Windows 10‘s personal assistant, only for your Android phone.
Of course, much of what Cortana does treads on the toes of Google’s own assistant app, Google Now. It lets you send emails, schedule events, and initiate advanced searches using your voice, as well as providing advanced reminders.
Microsoft has driven this point home with a fresh update.
In the new beta version of the Cortana app, you have the option of replacing Google Now’s home button shortcut prompt. Press and hold the home button after the update, and you’ll get the familiar Android option of using either of the two assistant apps either ‘Just once’ or ‘Always.’
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One major feature the Cortana beta app continues to lack is the ‘Hey Cortana’ voice initiation prompt. But then, most Android hardware isn’t set up to constantly listen for vocal prompts.
The Cortana for Android beta is currently only available in the US and China. Users in those countries can sign up for it through a short survey on the Microsoft website, though the company is only looking for a limited number of people to test the service at present.
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