Jul 27, 2021 | Updated: 04:53 PM EDT

Cortana For Android Gets A Major Update; It Can Now Replace Google Now

Aug 10, 2015 01:33 AM EDT

Cortana for Android had experienced considerable success. “She” even has “her” own following, with some tech pundits and analysts preferring the Microsoft app over iOS’ Siri or Google’s Now app. And with the recent update being rolled out, Cortana can now replace Google Now as the default digital assistant on a user’s device.

Microsoft’s Cortana can be set as the default digital assistant, or can be accessed from the Home button. Google Now used to be the default for all Androids, but with Cortana’s new features, this can be changed.

Cortana is still on Beta, and Android users still won’t be able to enjoy the “Hey Cortana” function. “Hey Cortana” is the default activation command for the app, which users of Windows devices already enjoy.

The reasons why some users prefer Cortana over Google Now or even Siri include:

-Cortana is always “listening” for commands. While this is currently a feature that only Windows device users enjoy, this is definitely one of those aspects of the app that Microsoft should work into the Android version. Because of this feature, Cortana doesn’t miss a beat when the user asks it for information.

-Cortana “asks, instead of assumes.” Before Cortana, say, files your travel itineraries, it will first walk you through a survey in order to determine your preferences. Google Now, on the other hand, automatically files things like travel itineraries, and may make mistakes such as filing a user’s friends’ itineraries as their own.

-Cortana is great with setting appointments. Cortana shines at creating appointments for the user, so schedule management is best with the Microsoft app. Google Now has been hailed as better for locating places and directions.

-Cortana works with different mail apps, with the exception of Yahoo!, because of the company’s terms of services. Google Now is limited to Gmail.

-Cortana allows the user to ask follow-up questions, thereby refining the requests made on the app. This way, the user gets a more tailor-fit service from the digital assistant.

The beta rollout of the Android app had been in place since last month, and with these new developments, the official launch for Cortana on Android is most likely on the horizon.

Interested Android users can still sign up for testing Cortana via the “Introducing Cortana for Android” page on Microsoft’s Community forums. Microsoft Support Engineer Anannya Podder started the page on July 14, 2015.

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