Microsoft is planning to release a version of its Cortana digital assistant for Android this month, but a copy has leaked early onto the internet today. If you’re familiar with the Windows Phone or Windows 10 versions of Cortana, then there’s not many surprises in the Android version. You can access Cortana’s notebook to control information stored about you, and there’s the usual options for bringing up events, nearby places to eat and drink, news, sports, weather, and more.
It looks like a miniature version of Cortana for Windows 10
The entire interface looks like a miniature version of Cortana for Windows 10, with a dark theme mixed with the white area for content. You can use your voice to search or enter queries in text, and Cortana is accessed just like any regular Android app. One feature that’s missing from the Windows version is the ability to say "Hey Cortana" to activate the assistant. Some features like asking Cortana to send messages to contacts appear to be a little unfinished, but location-based reminders appear to work as they should.
Microsoft bringing Cortana to rival platforms is a key part of the company's plans to win users for its services on iOS and Android. Cortana for Android requires a Microsoft Account, and signing in brings any user directly into Microsoft's Bing search engine over Google. Microsoft is also planning to bring Cortana to iOS later this year, but an official preview version of the Android client is expected in the coming weeks.