Cortana for Android scores all-important home-button integration
Google Now’s been as successful as it is on Android not solely because of all it can do for its users, but also because of how eminently accessible it is: from an Android phone, Google Now is little more than a home-button-swipe away. So for a competitor to really rise to challenge Google Now’s success, it’s going to not only have to compare favorably with the service on the features side, but also in terms of accessibility. Luckily for Microsoft, that’s just what it’s doing as it makes its latest enhancements to Cortana for Android, integrating with Android via the same home-button shortcut.
Microsoft Insiders testing Cortana for Android can now configure the app as their default search assistant, summoning it via home-button swipe. And while that stops short of the kind of even tighter integration Google enjoys with its voice-triggered Now searches, it’s still a giant leap forward in bringing Cortana up to par with Now in terms of how users can connect with the service.
While that Cortana APK leaked last month, Microsoft’s testing is still in an invite-only phase for now. Last we heard, the company was interested in expanding access to the program to the Android-using public as a whole in the very near future, but so far we’re still waiting on Microsoft to make that change. And after learning of this new home-button integration, we’re all the more interested in seeing Cortana for Android making it into wide release.