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Microsoft releases Cortana for Android beta

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An early version of Microsoft's Cortana app for Android leaked last month, but the software maker is now making it official. Microsoft is releasing a beta of Cortana for Android today for anyone to download and install. Microsoft has been gradually tweaking and improving Cortana for Android since its release to a limited amount of testers last month. One big addition is the ability for Cortana to replace Google Now when you press the Android home button on a handset.

While the Windows versions of Cortana support the "Hey Cortana" voice feature, Cortana for Android lacks this due to the varied handsets configurations that prevent Cortana from always listening for the command. Like the Windows variant, Cortana for Android allows you to access the 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. Cortana for Android is now available in US beta only from the Google Play Store.