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Microsoft is basically giving up on Cortana, Android support to die next year

It was never going to be easy for Microsoft to have a voice assistant on Android when the Google Assistant was out there, and it looks like the company has finally thrown in the towel. Beginning in early 2021, support for Cortana will be ended on Android, iOS, and a couple of small platforms. Cortana had already been phased out in several countries a few months ago, but this change will be global.

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Microsoft Outlook now supports Play My Emails on Android

Microsoft has been hard at work on Outlook for Android, even if some of that work is going towards pushing adoption of Bing. A few new features are rolling out to the app today, including a long-awaited function that has been on the iOS version since last year — reading your emails to you.

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Cortana will soon be removed from the Microsoft Launcher

Microsoft's Cortana virtual assistant never reached the market share needed to compete with Google Assistant and Alexa, and Microsoft is starting to scale back its ambitions. The Cortana Android app has already been removed in several countries, and now Microsoft is taking it out of its Android app launcher.

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(Update: Only in 8 countries) Cortana will stop working on mobile devices at the end of January

Cortana made her way onto Android devices back in 2015 but hasn't managed to gain the same popularity as its competitors. This isn't entirely surprising, considering Microsoft's digital helper hasn't been available on smart speakers and displays, leaving people to use alternative solutions. The company seems to acknowledge Cortana can't keep up with its rivals, at least on mobile devices, as it just announced the Android and iOS apps will be retired at the end of January.

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Cortana can now read your emails on Outlook for iOS, Android to follow soon

Cortana may have faded into oblivion for many, but that didn’t stop Microsoft from trying to keep the virtual assistant alive. In line with this , Play My Emails has been introduced to the Outlook app for mobile devices letting you interact with your unread emails with Cortana's help. The feature is coming to Android devices in 2020, even though it has begun rolling out to iOS handsets.

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[Update: Out of beta] Cortana v3.0 has a sleek new design and improved conversational experiences

Cortana's been on version 2 for quite a while, so users are no doubt excited to see what the next big iteration has in store. Thankfully, they don't have to wait any longer. The app's latest beta reveals version 3.0, which comes along with a major UI refresh and several feature additions, including improved conversational requests.

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You may soon be able to control your Xbox One with Alexa and Google Assistant

Xbox One users, here's a piece news for you on Android Police, of all places. According to Windows Central, you may soon be able to control your gaming/entertainment console with voice commands, thanks to the addition of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support.

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Cortana can now make calls and send texts via voice input [APK Download]

Most voice assistants can make calls and send texts without the user having to touch his/her screen, but that wasn't true for Cortana on Android until now. The latest update adds this capability, and even though it's nothing groundbreaking, it's sure to make your life just a little bit more convenient if you use Cortana regularly.

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Cortana adds floating launch button in latest update [APK Download]

Even though Cortana can't match most of Google Assistant's functionality, it's still very handy if you have a Windows 10 PC. The app can mirror notifications to your PC, sync reminders, and provide contextual information based on your email and calendar. About a year ago, the Cortana app added an optional launcher to the lock screen, and now there's another way to open the assistant.

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IFTTT has added a Cortana channel, plus a couple of other services

Over the past week, IFTTT has added 3 new channels to its hundreds of supported services for smart integrations and automations. Two of them are little known: SURY Assistant and ELA Smart Lighting, but the third one is quite important: Cortana.

Like the Google Assistant and Alexa channels, the new Cortana one has dozens of applets you can instantly try, as well as 4 triggers available: say a specific phrase, say a phrase with number, say a phrase with text, say a phrase with number and text. There are no actions available, so you can't make your Wemo slow cooker for example notify you through Cortana when it's done cooking.

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