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Microsoft’s Cortana now available on Android in public beta

First announced in May this year, Microsoft has finally launched Cortana for Android devices in public beta. Some of the digital assistant’s features include searching the web by voice command, setting reminders and alarms, making calls by voice and voice texting.

Similar to Apple’s Siri and Google Now, Cortana also gets to know the user over time by keeping track of their interests and providing them with relevant content.

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Read more: Microsoft’s Cortana whips Apple’s Siri in this new Windows Phone ad

Microsoft says that since it launched the closed beta, it has made several improvements. Some of these include the ability to set Cortana as the destination for the home button press, similar to Google Now.

Microsoft also encourages Windows 10 PC users with Android devices to make use of its app:

If you are currently a Windows 10 user, you already know the benefits of Cortana. The Cortana app on Android is the companion to your Windows 10 PC, extending Cortana’s functionality across any device you carry, everywhere you go.

Now On Tap — Google’s new improved Google Now that will come with Android Marshmallow — will be an interesting competitor for Microsoft’s Cortana.

Read more Google Now lets you dictate WhatsApp, WeChat messages on the go

Though Cortana is currently available of Windows 10, the company says that Android users will not have all the native features. For instance, Cortana on Android doesn’t have toggling settings or the ability to invoke Cortana hands-free by saying “Hey Cortana”.

Android users should not despair however. These are essential features to Cortana and Microsoft will likely introduce them during this beta phase in the near future.

Unfortunately, Cortana on Android is currently available in the US only and can be accessed here. Microsoft says it is planning to roll it out to other markets soon.

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