Microsoft: Cortana for Android beta will launch 'publicly in the next few weeks'

A few hours after a private beta of Cortana for Android was leaked to the Internet, Microsoft has now sent out a new statement saying that the official public beta for the digital assistant will be made available for Android owners sometime "in the next few weeks".

The leaked version of the beta actually came from a unknown member of Microsoft's Windows Insider program. According to ZDNet, an email sent to members of the program that are testing Windows 10 asked them to take a survey, after which a limited number of people got selected in the US and China to download the Android Cortana beta.

Today, ZDNet received a statement from Microsoft after the beta was leaked:

"In the spirit of the Windows Insider Program, we're testing the Cortana for Android beta with a limited number of users in the U.S. and China before releasing the beta publicly in the next few weeks."

The Microsoft Answers forum has a link to that short survey (opens in new tab) for anyone who is interested in being selected for the private Android beta. Microsoft also plans to release a version of Cortana for iOS sometime later in 2015.

Source: ZDNet

128 Comments
  • Lets hope they keep some features unique for windows only.
  • I hope so
  • I think these are just features to lure people to windows phones. Soon there where be windows phones that hook up to monitors and keyboards and mice. People will start wanting to buy microsoft phones after being used to some of the windows apps on other playforms. Look at apple making apps for all platforms. You have to get your apps out there to compete. Pocket PC will take over with windows 10 and people will start buying them. I give it about 5 or 6 years but it will happen.
  • Apple only makes iTunes and now Music for other platforms. Otherwise they make no other software available anywhere but Apple. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Apple makes money on hardware, not services.
  • @Mark Smiley:
    "I give it about 5 or 6 years but it will happen."
    That's very generous of you. But sadly the people who have the decision what happens to Windows Phone/Mobile lying in their hands don't think the same. Everyone seemed to understand the tough choices Nadella talked about meant ditching Windows on Phones before Windows 10 is released, which would if course be legitimately stupid.
    But I say I give them one or maybe two years after Windows 10 Mobile is launched; if its success doesn't take off then, Nadella will ditch it ultimately.
  • It's more of the fact that their are millions of Windows users who use Android & iPhones --- so ask yourself, who would bother using Cortana on their WIndows 10 PC if she can't go with you on your mobile device? That's kind of the whole point of a digital assistant. Cortana on more devices means more market share for Bing.
  • "Look at apple making apps for all platforms." LOL! Where did you get that from?
  • No ones is using ms apps on android
    Theese are only crazy stuff of a problematic ms management (nadella)
  • ...dont know how I feel about this :/
  • Indifferent? Let's face it, Cortana is shite and offers nothing that Google doesn't do better. It's embarrassing using it and just getting web hits when Google users get a decent search return. All the digital assistant bollocks does nothing for me so I just use search, which is abysmal.
  • I am not embarrassed at all using it and it works very well for me. Now Siri on the other hand 
  • How about location/people based reminders? I use Cortana for these more than anything else.
  • One word: Integration. That's going to be unique to Windows Phone.
  • @eomes:
    Could you please elaborate your one word statement "integration' a little more?
  • Developers are able to intergrate their apps with Cortana API's. Not sure if the Android version will have those capabilites.
  • like being available only in a handful of countries?
    I'm calling it, Cortana on Android will reach more countries than on WP, and that will be a sad day when your friend with Android have Cortana and you don't on your WP
    again: I'm talking about region availability, not language, most tech enthusiast are perfectly fine with English
  • You knew developers ignored Windows Phone when you bought it. You shouldn't be surprised. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • In this case its Microsoft not 3rd party devs so its a valid point.
  • @theefman:
    In this case (developers pure, neglecting ignorance against Windows (Phone)) is the same behavior employed by third-part has been demonstrated by Microsoft so often and for so long that it's actually a pretty solid assessment of Microsoft's behaviour towards Windows Phone/Mobile.@theefman:
    In this case (developers pure, neglecting ignorance against Windows (Phone)) the same behavior employed by third-part has been demonstrated by Microsoft so often and for so long that it's actually a pretty solid assessment of Microsoft's behaviour towards Windows Phone/Mobile.
  • I wrote in the previous article but somehow my comment "vanished". On my Lumia i cannot use Cortana because i have the region set to Germany and the language to English. On my Android phone Cortana works perfectly :)
  • @Corvusco:
    This is the perfect example for Mr. Nadella's "Mobile first, Windows worst" approach.
  • Made me chuckle
  • Well idk, I have a Lumia and I still don't have cortana I my phone. Should I get an android to finally have it?
  • Why?
  • I understand why Microsoft is doing this, but it still seems wrong, seems like cortana is cheating on us
  • Cortana is built in windows so we'll always have it better. Theirs is like Cortana lite.
  • So is skype. And its so much better in ios...
  • @Eli McCleave:
    That's what Microsoft claims, but so far has completely FAILED to deliver.
    The only difference mentioned is the voice activated "Hey Cortana"-feature, which is absolutely awful.
    If people are so lame that they rely on voice activation instead of hitting a button, they should just give up using a smartphone until thought control is available...
  • I don't know about you, but where I live we can only use phones hands free while driving. This makes easier to make calls or to navigate somewhere.
  • It's just a piece of software you know.
  • @NM_N:
    You're basically right.
    But with Microsoft constantly OVERpromising and UNDERdelivering things aren't so black and white as you're trying to depict them.
  • @WindowsPhoenix
    Oh I know, just some posters depict it as a magical thing which will draw in the masses. It's nice but that's all it is. In my mind comments like it's cheating on us are way over the top.
  • Grow up. Thanks.
  • Quite a strange thing to say about software.
  • But MS has continued to explain that cortana needs to be everywhere to be effective. Have u seen Terminator Genisys? Kinda reminds me of what Cortana will be. Lets keep a close eye on Microsoft, Maybe the next generation of Windows will be Skynet!
  • Same thought! :)
  • I hope it integrates deeply.
  • If MyAppFree and Windowsphone UI as Custom ROM via Cyanogen goes to Android.... Then I wont wait for Lumia 740 or Lumia 740XL... I will buy HTC Desire 826
  • We don't care about your lagdroid choices
  • My Lumia 1320 takes 3 seconds to open Lumia Camera... And WhatsApp says "Loading" while opening.. And Facebook and official Instagram app is horrible... I have sacrificed my most used apps for WP love , and now Here maps and Drive , Office , Outlook , OneNote and Cortana are now in Android.... What else is special in Windowsphone...?
  • What not is special on Windows Phone? Always people get nervous when Microsoft make a move. Rage everywhere and stuff... But after, when things make sense, people calm down and remember the reason they bought their first WP. Mine was produtivity, and it always best on WP
  • I bought Windowsphone for Here offline maps , Office , Outlook , Cortana and Live Tile UI... If Microsoft teams up with Cyanogen to make Windowsphone UI as Custom ROM , then Productivity will be more in Android
  • More in Android why? Don't understand your point. But Microsoft did. Independently which OS you choose to use, they'll be there with your favorite apps suite.
  • How is productivity better on Windows Phone? All the Office apps are available on iOS and Android. If anything productivity is lower with Windows Phone since it is rare that a specific app you need like for your bank is available. You have it backwards productivity is higher on other platforms because they are widely adopted by developers. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Windows phone
  • Nothing!
  • I completely agree. I've become totally sick of these "lagdroid" comments. They are not only childish but also totally false. There are 2 Android phones in my family, one of them almost 1 year old & has worse specs than my Lumia, yet it consistently beats my phone in real world performance. I've been experiencing a terrible lag since updating to WP8.1, while the OS stands nowhere in comparison to Android in terms of features. I've been wishing to throw this phone away since the day I've bought it, but sadly can't. Windows 10 is the last chance I'm giving to Microsoft to compel me to stay, but so far they have failed miserably. I'm simply trying to save money at the moment, & as soon as I have enough, I'm switching to Android. I still can't believe none of the geniuses at Microsoft has been able to give the idea to the OS development team to include important features like the ability to set default apps. I'm happy Cortana is launching on Android, switching is becoming even easier.
  • Cortana will be more clever = Bing will be more clever = Bing will be a better "rival" for google search = Bing will win in the end
  • That is if Android users will be willing to download Cortana on there phones, cause I just asked my friend who likes Cortana on windows phone, but when I told him that Cortana is out on beta for Android, and asked him if he wanted to download it, he said no
  • Your friend has not started using windows 10. Every PC user will have no choice but to use Cortana and then they will also have no choice but to use it on their phones. Except ur friend used Mac or Chrome.
  • ROFL no choice? How so?
  • I like the way you think.
  • One of my friends is testing the leaked version in his Asus Zenphone 5. He's amused by how the Way cortana respond to his commands. And he's eager to test Windows 10 desktop version.
    The "crying rage" people don't understand that time of being exclusive has passed away. Now it's time to be inclusive, and Microsoft strategy is amazing in that way
  • Indeed I read numerous comments about all the exclusives etc are gone but in my mind it doesn't matter. Those exclusives weren't a reason for people to buy windows phones. At least not in great numbers. Cortana is nice I guess but it's just software not the holy grail.
  • MS strategy about being inclusive is indeed amazing... But they forgot to Include anyone outside US/UK/China...
  • I wonder if there's anything exclusive to Windows phone have now except continuum
  • And Continuum is only for Flagships and Microsoft will make flagships once in 2 years , hence no difference literally
  • "once in 2 years" ....what? It sounds like you mixed up 5 different stories into a garbled sentence.
  • 6 phones for year, 2 flagships per year... But with Microsoft strategy of bring OEM partbers back, you'll see other flagships by other brands
  • I'f they are anything like me then they don't care about other oems. 
  • You have been able to hook a monitor, mouse and keyboard to an Android phone for years. Motorola also made phones that turned into Linux PCs when hooked up. Continuum isn't unique. It has been done and it won't change anything. Computers are not expensive and the cloud makes data ubiquitous anyways. Why use your phone as a desktop? There is no compelling reason. In a couple years or whenever it is released, it will certainly will not have an impact. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The Motorola Atrix had the most clunky way to plug a phone into a PC that I've ever seen. Continuum is much more intuitive based on what I've seen. Plus, that's a weak example anyways. The Atrix also had a fingerprint scanner, as does the successful iPhone 5S. It's not about who does it first, it's about who does it best.
  • Motorola had an opportunity to revolutionize the mobile industry (again) with the WebTop feature, but in typical Motorola fashion they fumbled it, ruined the thing & WebTop became Android 4.0 mirrored on an expensive small monitor.
  • Continuum creates a Desktop "like" experience. It's running Desktop versions of universal apps. Android cannot do that. You run oversized mobile apps. This feature is about functionality & usability -- not just being able to put something on a large screen. Continuum is something that will matter down the line depending on the success of universal apps & the advancement of mobile hardware. I don't expect it to be a game changer right now, but it's something to watch for in 2-4 years as Windows 10 matures & technology advances.
  • Lovely. Here in India we are still stuck on Alpha.
  • In Brazil we stuck on zero status. You're better than us
  • Don't tell them it's powered by Bing
  • Tell who? The overwhelming majority won't care at all. In fact I think most user's aren't as involved with the OS as some people tend to think or make them out to be.
  • Bad bad bad idea -_-
  • I hope we'll get YouTube from Google.
  • When pigs fly
  • And angry birds will take them down!
  • They already do. Haven't you seen 'em Geico commercials. Guess YouTube will be on WP "soon"
  • Who cares about official YouTube when you can use: MyTube! MetroTube TubeCast I hope they NEVER bring it to Windows, so novice users won't use their crap.
  • Then invite Siri for windows..! Microsoft should remail some functions for windows only.
  • Welp, now that the secret is out, I guess I'm allowed to say that Cortana for Android works pretty well. I've seen some people say it crashes a lot, but I've only had that happen twice on my OnePlus One.
  • I'm a Lumia 930 owner in New Zealand and we can't even use Cortana yet. Bit miffed that android users will probably get to use it before some wp owners.
  • Do you have evidence that this will go worldwide?
  • I've no idea. Would like a access to Cortana on wp in NZ though.
  • And when it does go worldwide what will the excuse be them lmao
  • Agreed, Cortana isn't available yet to 90% of WP users.
  • Ah isn't it? I didn't know that. That's a shame.
  • Wow kool. Cant wait to try it out.
     
  • So i'll have Cortana on my Android Phone before i have it on my Lumia ... guys this really sucks :-(
    Honestly i'm barely using my 1020 anymore since all the promised features are not working here in Austria.
    It really bumms me out though, since i really like Windows Phone.
    I hope that WP 10 turns out to be great an works everywhere the same from start on.   Cheers.
  • I hear ya pain. I bought a Lumia phone here in NZ and Cortana is unusable.
  • Matthew just change your region and language to USA and you will get full benefit till it rolls out locally later.
  • Only trouble with that is it changes the store location too. Can't win.
  • The Android and iOS versions of Cortana would have the same regional limitations as the Windows version of Cortana. It males no sense at all to have Cortana not available for Windows in these regions but make globally available for iOS and Android. If its possible for them, it should be possible for us. And its not so, that's that ;-)
  • If Microsoft cant make windows phone as android. Don't make android as windows phone.
  • Good, more users = more data = better bing/cortana experience for everyone
  • I agree
  • No one will use it on android, nadella has psichiatric problems
  • Running cortana on my Samsung galaxy note 3 runs pretty well and fast
  • In the coming weeks ™ Microsoft needs to stop using that
  • THIS IS AWESOME!!! Get everyone hooked. Now, I wonder if Cortana will come to Windows 10 in Canada before 2025.
  • Don't hold your breath. Half-Life 3 will arrive first though... /s
  • On my Note 4 now. Runs better and doesn't randomally open all the time like on my 1520. Nice. The .apk is all over the place and works great. They should just go ahead and release it, but oh well.
  • You guys have forget what MS have said long time ago that thier strategy would be to deploy such a service Cortana and others in other platforms but it wont have its full features as in WP so the point is to get the other platforms user to give the real WP phone a try or simply get them to switch by giving them piece of the pie..and once they like it..they are gona go for the whole pie!
  • They really don't need to launch....
    Just a leaked APK file would be charm... :)
  • And for more android news..
  • There goes the neighbourhood...
  • I was surprised by how many people were willing to try Blackberry's BBM on their WP's, Iphones and Android phones, so maybe there will be a huge upside to this.   But I as a WP user/partisan, I don't want to hear Siri coming out of my 1520. 
  • Mostly MS share there first party popular apps with another platforms..
    They (MS) know that someone has to be started
  • I never use cortana for search anyway. It is handy if working in the shed or garden to shout at the phone to remind me to do something or get something I realised id forgotten. The search function is a tiny part of cortana.
  • Basically. Other than keeping up with my "Interests", the only thing I use Cortana is for reminders and to locate restaurants if I'm out of town.
  • No one actually uses these things, they always get so many words wrong and you end up typing out the thing. I just turn this shit off...    
  • Sounds like an annuciation problem
  • Another initiative to loose market share of wp. There was one and only plus point in wp that was cortana. Now when android users will have cortana on their phones, why do they need to go on wp. i think there is only one app in wp store developed by google that is google search. Now i m thinking to switch to android as well. Windows 10 can never get much popularity.. Very very very bad job, Microsoft!
  • Yeah I feel the same. I replaced my galaxy note 2 with a Lumia 930. Bad mistake it seems. I can't even use Cortana. Android next phone.
  • They really need to localize cortana for more countries, or at least give people the choice to is the "english" Cortona. If Google and Apple can localize it, why can't Microsoft? Because it thinks USA is the center of the World.
    Netherlands:
    Bing maps doesnt have Street view, Google for many years have street view.
    Bing search: All USA-features are not available.
    Cortana? I think we'll never have it. xBox one, coming year later, but no localization.
    Speech to text? Of course not available. Bing rewards? Never heard of.
    All big conferences? Only in USA.
    If they really want One Microsoft, Get More Work Done and all the marketing things, they really need to show they want to work on localization and stop thinking USA is the center.
  • What you said.
  • Works fine in my nexus 5:)
  • Where did you get it ?
  • I've tried the leaked beta. It didn't work well at all. Constantly responding 'Sorry, I didn't catch that', or just staying frozen trying to decipher what it was I said. On the rare ocassions when it did work, it was adequate. Cortana is way better on Windows Phone at the moment. A lost of work is still needed on the Android version.
  • Can't wait to try it on Android !
  • More users will lead to more data which will help improve Cortana (& Bing). It doesn't really bother me to make her a Cross Platform service
  • Money makes the World go around.
    Come on.
  • This so annoying since there is no Cortana in the Netherlands it seems more important to serve android users than Lumia and Microsoft users
  • One thing that MS fail to understand is that desktop Os is long gone for personal usage. That remains in the offices only and so basing on windows 10 to make people shift to mobile is a void plan Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Just downloaded it to my galaxy edge and looks and works good too. Even does location reminders.
  • Hey guys, Quick question does cortana works on Windows 10 ( desktop ) for any region other than US or UK / China?. Australian Locale , strugging to get this working from months? , any ideas or settings we can change to get it.
  • I'm secretly hopeful that Microsoft will surprise us with worldwide Cortana with the windows 10 launch.
  • Ohhh Google give nothing for windows phone bt Microsoft gives everything.
  • I hope it will never work on android.
  • Rather develop for builds for windows 10 mobile
  • Looks better on android. The small look wasn't on my +L1520 earlier this week. I sometimes hate Microsoft can change things without my consent first!!!!
  • Meanwhile, here on my Lumia *still* waiting for Cortana to show up, after how long now..well over a year?