Cortana app gets update with quick homescreen widget and better load time

Cortana has been around for Android devices for about two months now and soon after its launch it received an update where the “Hey Cortana” hotword was removed in order to avoid conflicts with Google’s own “OK Google” trigger. The hotword is still available on CyanogenOS though.       The new update to version 1.4.0 brings about a homescreen widget that would make the app easier to use in a rush. You get a big ASK Cortana button that will launch a voice search immediately, a button for reminders and a list of upcoming events and reminders.   Cortana update 1.4.0 changelog:   new widget for quick launching Cortana and set reminders reduced app load time better loading experience for low speed and unstable network conditions more stable voice interactions.   Cortana app is free but it is limited to the US and China at the moment. If you are in one of the two areas and you want to try the app, you can do so via the widget below:      

Cyanogen Inc updates OnePlus One to 12.1.1 with Microsoft Cortana

Cyanogen Inc is finally rolling out Cyanogen OS 12.1.1 for the OnePlus One, but it is not just an update. Noooooo. This is the first OS version where you get built-in Microsoft Cortana support. The sad part is that this feature will only be allowed in the US for now.     Microsoft released Cortana a little while ago to some smartphones and, shortly after, it removed “the always listening” feature. On OnePlus One, things will be different because the VI will be pretty much embedded everywhere. The app on the OnePlus One will present the “Hey Cortana” hotword along with support for quiet mode, alarms and voice activated setting toggles. Cyanogen Inc. mentions that embedding Cortana into the OS will only allow the software to develop more in the future.   If you have a OnePlus One device, you should see the update in the system menu. Keep in mind that this is a Lollipop-based update as the “12” in the version number indicates. Cortana support will be limited to US users for now. If Cortana is not to your liking, you can always uninstall it after you update.   Source: Cyanogen  

Cortana app from Windows officially available for Android, iOS and OnePlus One

  Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana is finally out of beta. For starters, the app will be available in the US and China, but more competing markets will emerge later. Starting today, if you are in the US or China you can download the virtual assistant for your Android device, for the iPhone and for the Windows 10 smartphone. Cyanogen OS-powered devices will also be able to get in on the fun as OnePlus One will integrate support for the VI with the 12.1.1 Cyanogen OTA. Basically, Cortana lets you track reminders and notifications across platforms, plus you can ask your own questions. You also get different features based on which platform you use the app. Cortana for Android lets users ask questions via the “Hey Cortana” command. This feature is available in the app or on the home screen. You also get notifications on a Windows 10 PC. These features will not be available for Apple products because iOS will not be opened fast enough to make support for them. You also get the option of testing features on your Android device. Cortana features: • Set and get location and time reminders across your PC and phone. • Get notified and send a quick text reply from your PC if you miss a call on your phone*. • Track packages, flights, scores, stocks, and other important info across your PC and phone. • Use Cortana’s Notebook to view, edit and manage your interests. • Get information and answers to all kinds of questions. If you’re […]

Facebook virtual assistant M to reach some devices today!

Facebook virtual assistant wishes may seem like a dream or a joke, but it is actually coming to life! Facebook wants in on the fun and popularity of Google Now, Siri and Cortana. But it is also trying to do something different, which is why it created M, its newest virtual pal program. This little feature will wait for you to use Messenger to introduce itself to you. You will be able to look for stuff from your Messenger app and when it will not be able to find answers to your questions, people working behind screens may be able to.       The Facebook virtual assistant is said to be trained and supervised by people, real people! M does not just help you with facts and usual information, but it is supposed to help you get reservations and place orders wherever you need.   Facebook seems to think that using real people to help you find or do things via your smartphone will keep you closer to their services as opposed to a situation when, if you cannot get the answer you need with the help of a virtual assistant, you may fall back to searching for something manually or switch to Microsoft or Google VIs.   M will become available to a few hundred users in the San Francisco Area for now, and the update will be rolling out as we speak. If this little test is successful we can expect a global release of this new Facebook virtual assistant.  

Cortana voice assistant available in public open beta in the US

Cortana voice assistant is now more available than ever! When you have an Android device and you don’t want to trust Google to the point of giving it all of your questions and information, you can try the Microsoft alternative.       The early version for this voice assistant AI has been available since last month, and now the public beta program is ready to get more users. The most recent update for the app gave Cortana the ability to launch via the Google Now “swipe up” gesture. You can also get future updates without having to keep searching for the APK files or for Microsoft requests to get approved. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX9P6skzZNU     The Cortana public beta program is now available for any citizen of the US who has an Android device. In order to get in on the action, you will have to fill out this form. Have a good time with your new virtual assistant!   Source: Windows blog

Cortana for Android could be a tough competitor for Siri and Google Now

Cortana for Android was recently released for testing and it is almost ready for wide release! This little app could become one of the most important competitors on the voice assistant market, if it can take on both Siri and Google Now. But is such a thing even possible?       Only time will tell. In the meantime, Cortana is being prepared for wide release for Android devices. The app seems to have an ample layout helped by smooth and clear voice detection. The app also presents some Google Now features such as presenting news and notifications on the main screen.   Some testers are saying the app is very helpful in keeping people organized, especially in our hectic times. Cortana works not only on smartphones, but also on Windows 10 devices and it allows users to search for files or adjust settings with ease. It is useful in situations where you don’t want to touch your smartphone or when you’re just too lazy to type stuff on your PC. It learns from your and adapts its responses as you use it more and more and it can set reminders, look for information and it even navigates through your computer if you need it to.   TechnoBuffalo presents a test on the Cortana app in beta form, where you can see just how it works. What do you think, are you eager to try it on your Android device any time soon?   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTViEwVaFsM   Source: Androidorigin