Microsoft’s Cortana Android App has received an update recently that removes the hands-free “Hey Cortana” activation feature. The new version of the app was released on December 20th, coming with three new features:
- Improved app stability.
- Enhanced call and text features.
- Removed “Hey Cortana” feature for US market.
The reported reason for the removal of “Hey Cortana” was because the feature disrupted use of the microphone. Will the feature come back in the future with a fix? It’s difficult to say one way or the other. It won’t be surprising if they do, since Google has “OK Google,” and Apple has “Hey Siri.” Microsoft might want to get back in the hands-free game.
The app has been installed anywhere between 100,000 and 500,000 times, according to Google Play download figures. There was a survey done by MindMeld recently that reported that voice search and voice assistants have seen an increase in usage in the past year.
Siri, unsurprisingly, was the most widely adopted assistant, according to the survey. On the other side of the coin, out of all of the survey recipients, 6.1 of them used Cortana, which is more than 2X Windows Phone’s US market share, meaning that Android owners are using it.