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Microsoft Brings Cortana to Android, Expands Language Support

Cortana, Microsoft's natural-language digital assistant technology, will soon have an expanded user base that covers more countries and platforms.

Last week, Microsoft announced the launch of a limited beta program to test the Cortana app on Google Android devices. "In the spirit of the Windows Insider Program, we are looking for a limited number of people to get their hands on an early version of the app" for Android, Microsoft said in a forum post dated July 14.

Initially, Cortana will not have the same deep integration with Android as it has with Windows 10, Microsoft said. Features such as the ability to start a conversation with Cortana by saying "Hey, Cortana," will not be supported on Android phones, at least at the outset. Additionally, the Android beta will only be available to testers in the United States and China.

However, Microsoft added, "Over the coming months, we'll continue to deliver frequent updates to the app to expand the features and functionality."

Those interested in testing the Cortana app for Android must first complete the survey here.

Microsoft first announced back in May that it is planning to extend Cortana's reach to Android and Apple iOS. At that time, however, Microsoft had said that the Cortana app for Android would arrive in June, so the timing is off by about a month. Microsoft also said in May that a Cortana app for iPhones will be available "later this year."

In more Cortana news, Microsoft also announced on Monday that it was expanding the technology's language support.

Windows Insider participants in the following countries will be able to access Cortana by year's end: Japan, Australia, Canada (English only), India (English only), Brazil and Mexico. French-language support will also arrive to testers in Canada later this year, Microsoft said.

Starting with Windows 10's July 29 launch, Cortana will be generally available to users in the United States, United Kingdom, China, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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