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Cortana can now be set as the default assistant on your Android device

The personal assistant arms race is heating up, as the latest update for Microsoft's Cortana can now easily replace the Google Assistant. If you'd like, the next time you long-press home to pull up your personal assistant, you can find the familiar oscillating purple and white dot staring back at you. The new feature comes via the latest 2.8 update to the Cortana app on Google Play. If you'd like to check out how it works, we gave it a try.

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'Microsoft Graph' will provide deeper integration between Windows 10 PCs and Android/iOS

One of the hallmark features of Windows 10 when it was first introduced was deeper integration with Windows Phone (or as it was later renamed, Windows 10 Mobile). Unfortunately for Microsoft, no one uses Windows phones. Now the company has announced 'Microsoft Graph,' a service that aims to integrate your PC and mobile workflows seamlessly.

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Cortana 2.6 lets you ask questions from the lockscreen, officially lands in Australia

Earlier in March, Cortana got updated on Android to version 2.5 with one important feature: optional lockscreen integration. This allowed users to swipe from their lockscreen to reveal their personal feed including calendar appointments, news, and contextual information they might need. However, it didn't include the ability to interact with Cortana or ask it questions.

With today's update to v2.6, that is now possible. You can ask Cortana questions, set reminders, and more without unlocking your device first. It's more about convenience and less about security I presume. There are also improvements to the way the Cortana home feed is displayed on Android, easier ways to set reminders and lists without using voice, and a few other enhancements.

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Cortana 2.5 adds optional lock screen functionality [APK Download]

While Google Assistant is rolling out to more devices, Microsoft is continuing to improve its own virtual helper. Microsoft's Cortana assistant made the jump to Android in 2015, and has continued to improve since with regular updates. The latest update, version 2.5, allows users to add Cortana to the lockscreen.

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Cortana learns how to keep you on track, even if you forget to ask

We've all forgotten to do things that we promised to do. Luckily, we have these fancy personal assistants to help us stay on course. Cortana, Microsoft's offering (and whose name is way cooler than the actual product), is learning via machine learning to remind you of things... without you even asking.

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Cortana app now available in the UK after a user interface refresh in version 2.0

We haven't heard much from Microsoft's Cortana, the voice assistant that's built into Windows 10 and available in app form on Android and iOS, in a while. Amazon and Google, with their respective Alexa and Assistant/Home brands, have been far more vocal in the last few months. Today the Cortana app gets its first major update in the better part of a year. And in a move that probably should have come a lot sooner, the mobile version of Cortana is now available in the UK.

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Cyanogen launching Cortana in India, starting with the OnePlus One

Cyanogen, Inc has been partnered with Microsoft for a while now, bringing various mods to devices running Cyanogen OS. The company is launching the Cortana mod in India today, starting out with the OnePlus One. Cortana first came to the Cyanogen operating system in January this year, followed by the 13.1 update, which enabled more widespread mod support.

To get this update, your OnePlus One must be running the latest version of the operating system - the aforementioned 13.1. This enables the voice-activated assistant feature which behaves much like Google Now; Cyanogen says Cortana is deeply integrated into the OS, with a 'Hey Cortana' command waking her up.

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Windows 10 Will Soon Allow You To Mirror And Control Android Notifications [Update]

Microsoft's Build conference is about all the things happening in the company's wide range of products and services, but that includes Android apps these days. At Build yesterday, Microsoft announced there's a big change coming to one of its apps soon-ish. Microsoft plans to add notification mirroring support to Windows 10, and it's going to be powered on the Android side by Cortana.

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Cortana Adds A Homescreen Widget For Fast Access To Voice Searches And Reminders

Microsoft's Cortana has been available on Android for about 2 months, but shortly after its launch, it got an update to remove the Hey Cortana hotword (though that remained functional in Cyanogen OS) because of potential conflicts with Google's own Ok Google. That dampened a bit the app's utility as it became slightly more difficult to launch when in a hurry.

This update to version 1.4.0 tries to circumvent the issue by adding a homescreen widget. It has a big Ask Cortana button that launches voice searches immediately, a list of your upcoming events and reminders, and another button to add a reminder.

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Cyanogen OS 12.1.1 On The OnePlus One Is Promoting Microsoft Apps Via The 'Open With' Dialog

Cyanogen Inc. started sending out Cyanogen OS 12.1.1 to the OnePlus One earlier this week. This update is notable as it's the first build that comes with Microsoft Cortana built-in. It turns out that's not the only Microsoft integration. The file opening dialog also seems to be suggesting Microsoft apps even if you don't have them installed.

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