Cortana Android beta goes public

It's supposed to be automatic, but actually you have to press a button

Microsoft's Cortana-on-Android project, first announced in May, has now evolved to the point at which the virtual assistant has been released as a beta.

The public beta, announced by Susan Hendrich, says the aim is to make Cortana “the companion to your Windows 10 PC, extending Cortana's functionality across any device you carry”.

By letting Cortana escape the Redmond straitjacket, Microsoft gets to see how its digital assistant is received on a device with double-digit market share on handsets.

As anticipated, Microsoft hasn't managed to get “Hey Cortana” ported, so Android users will have to suffer the indignity and inconvenience of manually invoking the avatar. Oh, the (virtual) humanity!

Microsoft says the beta is for US customers with other markets planned for the future, but this scribe was able to download it just fine from Australia. ®

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