A new update has been released for Android version of Cortana, which allows users to make it the default assistant on Android devices, effectively displacing the Google Assistant.  A prompt hen Cortana is initiated takes users through the quick setup process.

After the update has been installed, a long press on the home button will bring up Cortana instead of the Google Assistant.  Users won’t be able to say “OK Google” to access the Google Assistant if they do this.  The latter can still be initiated via the Android home screen search box and mic.  A downside of Cortana though, is it can’t be summoned in  hands-free way on Android phones.

Microsoft had previously made Cortana available on Android’s lock screen.  Even though this makes it more native to Android devices, it isn’t clear how many people will bother to make it the default assistant.This could be aimed at those who use the PC version of Windows but have Android phones.  This would allow for a cross-platform assistant experience.

According to Microsoft, Cortana has almost 150 million users across their ecosystem.  This includes Windows 10, Android, iOS, and the Xbox.  Microsoft even has an SDK strategy, which makes it the virtual assistant for third-party hardware devices.

Even with the large audience at their disposal, Cortana still has quite the fight ahead of her.  She still has to fight against eh likes of Siri and Google Assistant, since they are build-in to the iPhone and Android, respectively.



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