Microsoft’s move to release Cortana on Android in Australia means you may end up with three personal assistants on your Android phone. They’ll all be falling over themselves, vying for your attention and wanting to help you. That may be more help than you may need.
Cortana is now available from the Android store to download as an app.
It’s the latest chapter in the explosion of artificial intelligence and machine learning, which is being rolled into so many applications.
It’s only in the last 12 months that personal assistants on Android have flourished. In May last year Google announced its Google Assistant which it then launched on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. Google also made a cut down version of its assistant for iPhone as an app.
Tomorrow, Samsung launches its Galaxy S8 smart phone, and as well as Google Assistant, which is a standard part of Android, Samsung is adding its own assistant called Bixby.
Samsung promises that Bixby will offer context help within apps. Not only will you use your voice to start applications, you can use voice commands to undertake activities within apps.
Microsoft says the functionality of Cortana on Windows 10 can be extended to any smartphone running the Android operating system.
Cortana also will be available from the Android lock screen offering weather updates, commute time, calendar overview and the ability to view and set reminders.
You can compose reminders on, say, a Windows 10 laptop, and have them available on your Android phone through Cortona.
Microsoft says that if you miss a phone call, or are too busy to take it, Cortana can send a text back letting them know you’ll call later.
But you might ask, why are all these companies wanting to put personal assistants on Android? It’s part of their bid to drag you into their ecosystem. Microsoft wants Android phones to comfortably work with Windows 10 desktops, and to keep you interested in the Microsoft ecosystem.
Samsung wants you eventually to buy Bixby enabled white goods, such as Samsung airconditioners, which you can operate using Bixby on your phone or other Samsung devices, for example a Samsung TV.
So it’s good news for consumers. May the best personal assistant win!
Reader comments on this site are moderated before publication to promote lively and civil debate. We encourage your comments but submitting one does not guarantee publication. We publish hundreds of comments daily, and if a comment is rejected it is likely because it does not meet with our comment guidelines, which you can read here. No correspondence will be entered into if a comment is declined.