To open Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant, normally one only needs to speak the words “Hey Cortana” and the mobile app would just launch. But the version of this feature that runs on the Android mobile operating system in the United States apparently can no longer be launched with that specific voice prompt.
According to a spokesperson for Microsoft, the company has indeed acquired some feedback that the “Hey Cortana” prompt is in conflict with the voice search functionality of the Android platform. The spokesperson added the tech company has decided for now to deactivate the feature while it comes up with a permanent fix. So how can Android mobile users make use of the Cortana mobile app on their devices? They can still launch the app by tapping its icon, and then the microphone symbol when they want to throw an inquiry or request something.
Microsoft had done a good thing by making its Cortana digital assistant available to platforms outside Windows. This meant that mobile users who own devices powered by Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS could get to use Cortana on their respective mobile devices. Granted, both Android and iOS already have their existing digital assistant features -- Google Now for Android and Siri for iOS, so Microsoft’s Cortana really had to be ready to compete with those default digital assistants.
It should be noted that both Google Now and Siri can be activated by voice commands on their respective mobile operating systems. For Microsoft’s Cortana, however, it loses that capability, at least in the Android platform. Industry watchers are now wondering if such a loss would discourage Android users from using Cortana and instead turn more to Google Now.
As for the iOS platform, the “Hey Cortana” voice activation functionality is already absent, which essentially means that users can only launch the digital assistant verbally on Windows 10 or Windows Phone. For those who have already started appreciating what Microsoft’s Cortana can offer, this should qualify as a bit of a bummer. Still, despite the challenges ahead, Microsoft is vowing to continue its efforts in further enhancing the Cortana experience not only on Android but also on the iOS platform.
It was back in March earlier this year that reports first surfaced regarding Microsoft’s plan to make Cortana available to both Android and iOS platforms. The digital assistant feature was initially released in April of last year, and in 2015, Microsoft started to make good on its promise to grant Cortana cross platform compatibility.
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