Cortana coming to Android as a beta in July

Kareem Anderson

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We’ve been hearing about Cortana’s platform expansion for almost a year now. Early on, talk of Cortana’s cross platform appearance was merely speculation by dividing groups. Groups of die-hard Windows Phone fans scoffed at the notion of Cortana not being a Windows Phone exclusive. Other groups, took into consideration the marketing value and future viability of Microsoft in the future and championed Cortana’s expansion. As time went on, the speculation moved to rumors, and the talk eventually became an actuality. A few weeks ago, the team in charge of Cortana, all but confirmed that the Windows exclusive voice assistant would make its way to Android and iOS devices shortly.

Until yesterday, the only instances of Cortana working on another platform aside from Windows Mobile were reserved for the Windows 10 Insider builds. At the Xbox E3 2015 press event, the Xbox team unveiled the first example of Cortana working on an additional platform other than Windows and Windows Mobile. Xbox One users were given teasers of an upcoming UI and UX update to the console that brings Cortana integration in tow. Alongside that news is also a minor reference to how Cortana will work on Android.

“On your Android phone you can ask Cortana to remind you to walk the dog at 8 p.m., and then when you’re watching a movie your Xbox will interrupt playback to let you know it’s time to take the dog out.”

Image Credit: Microsoft

According to the Windows Blog, there will be a beta for Cortana running on Android starting in July. To experience the immersive capabilities of Cortana, the Windows team points out the use of Windows 10 in addition to the Android app. The beta is intended to be tested as a companion app to Windows PCs. However, on the device, Cortana should work fairly well by its self. Now that the conversation is no longer about why Cortana should expand to other platforms, I suppose the new question is how effectively can it keep users in the Microsoft ecosystem?