Microsoft has made Cortana, its personal digital-assistant, available on Android phones as part of an open beta program. Sadly, it’s only officially available in the US, but there are ways around it.
Cortana is already enabled on Windows 10 devices in selected countries. It’s technically not available in Australia but there is a work-around, which we have detailed here. This Android Cortana is designed to be a companion to the Windows 10 PC version. It was previously in closed beta but has now moved to a public beta program.
Currently, you need to be in the US, or at least using the Google Play US store to be able to access the latest Android Cortana app. Microsoft said it will be rolling it out to other countries soon.
But for Australians who can’t wait to try out Cortana on Android, an earlier version of the app was leaked and is now available to download on APKMirror. All you have to do is sideload it onto your Android device. You may also want to change your language settings to US English, which is what Cortana works with.
It won’t have some of the tweaks made in the latest version, such as the ability to set Cortana as the destination for the home button, but it does give you a good digital assistant experience. We’re anticipating the public beta version of the Cortana Android app will be leaked soon so stay tuned for updates.
If you desperately want to get the open beta version of Cortana on Android, you can try your luck and join the beta program here. I’m on an Australian Google Play account and it somehow still allowed me join up and download the app. I’m currently using Cortana on my Android phone and it appears to be in working order.
[Via Microsoft Windows Blog]