Good news for Cortana’s fans! The intelligent personal assistant which, until now, was available for Windows Phone 8.1 and Microsoft Band, will make its way to Google’s Android OS in July. Microsoft made this announcement through a blog post, one month after the company expressed its plans to extend Cortana to other platforms.
Cortana was launched in April 2014 and it was named after a character in Microsoft’s Halo video game series, using Jen Taylor’s voice. Its development started in 2009, after General Manager Zig Serafin and Chief Scientist Larry Heck (Microsoft Speech products team) started interviewing real human personal assistants to get an idea what features to add to Cortana.
So, Cortana is able to recognize the user’s voice and it takes commands, answers questions using information from Bing (traffic conditions, weather, sports scores etc.), it sets reminders, recognizes songs and gives the name of the band that plays it etc.
Windows 10, which will arrive on July 29, will include Cortana for both desktops and laptops, but in the same time, Android will get it too as a beta version, but it will be available as a companion to Windows 10 PCs. We don’t really know what this means, but it’s a good thing that Cortana will be added to Android before it will arrive on Xbox One (in September-October).
So, if you own an Android mobile device, Cortana will assist you in many ways. She will remind you to take the dog out for a walk, she will even interrupt the movie you’re watching, to do what you’ve planned ahead.
However, not all features found in the Windows Phone version will be added to Android or iOS – the other platform on Microsoft’s list, but at least the Cortana Notebook feature, which memorizes the users’ history and preferences, will make the jump to Android and will sync up across all devices.
Cortana has two main rivals, Google Now and Siri.