back to article Cortana Android beta goes public

Microsoft's Cortana-on-Android project, first announced in May, has now evolved to the point at which the virtual assistant has been released as a beta. The public beta, announced by Susan Hendrich, says the aim is to make Cortana “the companion to your Windows 10 PC, extending Cortana's functionality across any device you …

  1. sorry, what?

    Caught Another...

    Yet more ways to slurp more data about the user that can be sold on to the highest bidders with consent buried deep in the mile long Ts & Cs...

    Yes, I understand things have changed and that you can now do much more than mere voice dialling, but once upon a time even my lowly Nokia phone could do basic voice recognition using its own hardware and without a data connection. That's a model that I'd prefer to use, assuming the text itself wasn't simply routed to Google/Apple/Microsoft after the fact.

    1. Naselus

      Re: Caught Another...

      "Yet more ways to slurp more data about the user that can be sold on to the highest bidders with consent buried deep in the mile long Ts & Cs..."

      Yes, Android will be completely changed by the addition of an app that slurps data.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Caught Another...

      It's not the speech recognition so much as the context and meaning of what you are saying that is handled server side.

      So if you ask it where is the nearest cash point it isn't going to work unless you have a database of all ATMs on your phone.

  2. hplasm

    I got no place to keep her-

    Can you give my Creepy Ho a home?

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Let's have a laugh

    Somebody post the permissions...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let's have a laugh

      Probably less than your normal torch or calculator app.

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "suffer the indignity and inconvenience of manually invoking the avatar"

    You mean benefit from the security of not having that bitch listen in on your every word all day long, surely.

  5. GregC

    Don't see the point in this

    Google Now provides a perfectly serviceable range of voice activated "personal assistant" features if I need to use such a thing. Why on earth does MS think I'd want to install another one? I really don't see the point - if I wanted a "converged" (ugh) experience I'd a) install Win10 and b) have a Windows based phone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't see the point in this

      Because it's better / gives you a choice NOT to use Google.

      Still if you thing a choice of ONE is a good thing, feel free to live that way.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "OK Google"

    "OK Google. Tell me the privacy implications of using Cortana."

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. zumbruk

      Re: John Brunner Quote

      Are there any? Although "Stand on Zanzibar" (source of the "Supposed to be automatic ..." quote) is one of my favourite reads.

      (And presumably source of the firm "Iron Mountain's" name.)

  8. WildW

    I tried Cortana on Windows 10 and all it ever did was search on Bing for the thing I said.

  9. Phil_Evans

    The long night of the living dead

    MSFT can not be discouraged from these 'must have' ideas. 'Me-too' is the only motto they stand by nowadays. So Cortana will follow a growing line of useless implements that everyone has already been using for some time. Like Bing. Like Zune. Like Windows Phone. Like MSN (although that was once very popular), like the 'Surface'.

    All these items have made barely a dent in the share of other things/devices in the market. Yes, some of them are very good, but they are ostensibly re-invented wheels.

    Of course, things people really want like good Office on Android, Skype for business and Sharepoint that works have all only really just reached the market.

    What next - a new Facebook?

    1. Scott 53

      Re: The long night of the living dead


  10. Emo

    Permissions as per Google Play:

    This app has access to:

    Device & app history

    Allows the app to view one or more of: information about activity on the device, which apps are running, browsing history and bookmarks


    Uses one or more of: accounts on the device, profile data


    Uses calendar information


    Uses contact information


    Uses the device's location


    Uses one or more of: SMS, MMS. Charges may apply.


    Uses one or more of: phone, call log. Charges may apply.

    Photos / Media / Files

    Uses one or more of: files on the device such as images, videos or audio, the device's external storage


    Uses the device's microphone(s)

    Wi-Fi connection information

    Allows the app to view information about Wi-Fi networking, such as whether Wi-Fi is enabled and names of connected Wi-Fi devices

    Device ID & call information

    Allows the app to determine the phone number and device IDs, whether a call is active and the remote number connected by a call


    download files without notification

    receive data from Internet

    full licence to interact across users

    view Wi-Fi connections

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To blAndroid users

    As a MS user i say this, DONT use the creepy bitch.

    Its purely an exercise by Redmond to slurp even more data than you are already unwillingly doling out...

    Privacy as we knew / know it is dying out.

  12. StevenR

    Anybody got this working in the UK?

    The article says that they ware able to install this from Australia, but when I try it says it is incompatible with my device (1st generation Moto G) so I don't know if it is truly not supported or if it is due to the regional restrictions (although I would have thought I would get the "not available in your country" message).

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