Jul 22, 2015 05:48 PM EDT
Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri, is touted by pundits to be more sophisticated and useful in some aspects of the digital assistant functionality. This is why some Android fans are looking forward to seeing Cortana on Androids.
With Microsoft in a bid to see their apps on all devices across all platforms, excitement was drumming up on Cortana’s release for the Android. “She” was slated to be released when Windows 10 would be released. However, Android users were treated to a sneak peek of Cortana as a beta version was leaked this weekend.
Ars Technica’s Peter Bright tested Cortana on a Nexus 5 running Android 5.1, and reported that the app did not crash. He also reported that while Cortana on Android is very similar to a Cortana installation on a Windows device, there are some features that were sorely lacking in the Android version.
For one, the beta app would not respond to the activation trigger, “Hey Cortana.” Neither does it have privacy functions in place, unlike the Windows device app. It was also severely limited in that it couldn’t do some of its most useful functions, such as read out emails of flight itineraries or package tracking information. Neither could the beta version of Cortana listen to music. However, the Cortana beta was able to read out weather and traffic reports, appointment reminders, as well as give recommendations for where to eat. The beta version was also able to successfully transcribe SMS texts and emails. If Microsoft chooses to stick with the beta version of Cortana for rollout on Android, it won’t be all bad. Only, it will be a little redundant, as Google’s Google Now is more updated and useful.
Hopefully, Microsoft will iron out these kinks and limitations before its release on July 29th.
Microsoft offered an invitation-only beta testing program for Cortana for a select group of users. The name “Cortana” was patterned after the AI character on Halo.
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