Cortana, Microsoft personal voice assistant can now be set as the default assistant on Android devices, as per the latest update. The app can override Google’s native Google Assistant to be the default on the phone or tablet. The newly updated app is already available on the Google Play store and once the current version is updated, the user can go to the Settings and set Cortana as the default app. The features of the app stay pretty much the same.
In order to activate Cortana on the system, the user simply needs to long press the Home Button and then once Cortana is activated, interact as usual. The new feature is a part of the 2.8 update on Google Play and was first spotted by Android Police. The app syncs between the desktop and the phone to coordinate the notifications on the two.
Once the app is activated, it asks the user to sign in and also provides multiple options like lock screen support and once signed in, the user can set Cortana as the default browser. The notification for the same appears in the feed. Choosing the option takes the user to “Assist and Voice Input” in Settings where the user can change the default setting to Cortana. However, Cortana can be activated only on long pressing the home button on the device. It does not accept direct voice commands for launch. ALSO READ: Google Assistant now available on iPhones, should Siri feel threatened?
There are presently certain restrictions as the original report points out. Cortana works only in Portrait mode and trying to use it in Landscape mode simply changes the mode back to Portrait. Missed calls on the phone appear as notifications on the desktop and desktop calendar reminders are automatically synced with the phone. The app seamlessly transitions between the two. The overall app performance has also been enhanced as per the Google Play store update section suggests.
As the ‘Whats’s New’ section on Google Play states:
What’s new in Cortana 2.8.0:
· Now you can set Cortana as your default assistant on Android!
· Improved calendar consistency across PC and phone
· Improved app performance
Thanks for using Cortana!
While the update has come to Google devices, Cortana still remains the second option for Apple users as Siri continues to be the default assistant. Cortana previously could be set as the system default assistant through simple tweaks though the new options make it simple and easy. This is the first time the app has updated and provided the functionality itself. The default assistant can support messaging, browsing and also other tasks.