The Cortana digital assistant is one of the main attractions for Windows 10, both on PC and mobile. the intelligent smart program behind Cortana lets her make helpful suggestions and understand search queries spoken, similar to Siri on iOS. However, Microsoft is promising a better service than Apple’s, and it looks like that service won’t just be limited to Windows 10.
Cortana has been said to be coming to Android before, with Microsoft’s Office and other programs also being billed to appear on Google’s mobile OS. A group of hackers from Italy calling themselves OrangeSec can’t seem to wait for Microsoft to get the assistant onto Android, and have produced their own hacked, tweaked version of the existing Cortana for the Android OS.
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The bootleg version, known as Portaña, presumably because she’s been ‘ported’ to Android, functions in very much the same way as versions we’ve seen before, although this slightly jury rigged version can only currently understand Italian, and also doesn’t work at all if the phone isn’t connected to the internet.
Portaña needs to ‘speak’ to Microsoft’s servers in order to function, since native Windows content isn’t usually found on Android. Also, the hackers behind the Italian version haven’t quite managed to recreate all of her features. Some things are still missing, such as integration with apps on the Android phone. On Windows, Cortana can work together with other programs, but on Android porting this proved to be a little more difficult.
Microsoft themselves were contacted by Venturebeat, and without naming Portaña by name managed to make out in their statement that the Windows version is better than her. “We believe the best way to enjoy the full Cortana experience is as designed by Microsoft and available through Windows Phone and the Windows 10 technical preview.” they said.
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Obviously rumors that Android will get Cortana are still flying – but it’s good to know she could eventually work on Android, as the OrangeSec hackers demonstrated. Android does have a sort of assistant, Google Now, but it lacks the facade of personality Siri and Cortana have. Out of the three, Cortana will certainly be the most human-like.
Microsoft are obviously much more dedicated to Cortana on PCs, or on Windows 10 in general. It’s understandable because PCs often have a lot of processing power so testing enhanced Cortana functions will be easier there. We may see the digital assistant make it to Android if and when it becomes popular on Windows.