Cortana for Android Beta is Now Publically Available in the US

Posted on August 24, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 0

Cortana for Android Beta is Now Publically Available in the US

Update: It appears that Microsoft reached some unstated beta membership goal and has now closed availability of this app, at least for now. Lovely. –Paul

After delivering a limited, invite-only version of Cortana for Android last month, Microsoft is now offering the mobile app in public beta form, albeit in the US only. Availability will be expanded to other markets soon, however, Microsoft says.


“The Cortana app [for Android] can do most of the things Cortana does on your PC or on a Windows phone,” Microsoft’s Susan Hendrich explains in a new post to Blogging Windows. “With the app, you can manage your hectic lifestyle by setting and getting reminders, searching the web on-the-go, tracking important information such as flight details as well as starting and completing tasks across all of your devices.”


Cortana is already available on Windows 10 and on Windows phones running Windows Phone 8.1 or newer (including Windows 10 Mobile), and Microsoft previously announced that it would port its digital personal assistant to Android and iOS. In mid-July, Cortana for Android arrived as a limited, invite-only beta. And two weeks ago, we learned that Microsoft had enabled Cortana to replace Google Now on Android too. (Or as Microsoft puts it, you can now “set Cortana as the destination for the home button press.”)


Cortana on Android is, however, a bit limited on other platforms than on Windows. The “Hey, Cortana” voice control functionality doesn’t work unless you’re already in the app, for example. Microsoft hints that it’s trying to fix that on Android and iOS, so we’ll see how that goes.

Cortana for Android beta is available from the Google Play Store, but you will need to sign-up to become a beta tester first. (No worries, that just involves clicking a link, and you can leave the beta any time you want.)

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