Cortana can now replace Google Now as a default assistant on Android

No need to hunt for the Cortana app on Google Android devices: Just swipe up from the Home button and Cortana can open by default.

Microsoft's "Windows everywhere" is moving ahead full steam as the company has made it easier to use Cortana on Google Android phones.

The latest version of the personal assistant software adds a way to make Cortana a default application when swiping up from the Home button on an Android phone or tablet, reports Microsoft-News.

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Image: Microsoft-News

That's new compared to the initial beta of Cortana for Android, which launched on a limited basis last month. With the older version, opening Cortana is similar to opening any app on Android: Finding the shortcut on your device and giving it a tap.

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With version 1.0.0.204 of Cortana for Android, Microsoft offers a more integrated experience to get help from the cloud-based personal assistant, making it more like Google Now, the comparable Android product.

Unfortunately, Cortana's integrations still falls a bit short by comparison.

On many Android phones, you can enable an always listening function and simply say "OK, Google" from any screen to get Google Now help. For Microsoft to implement the same feature with Cortana, it would need to do so at a lower hardware level. That doesn't mean it's not possible, but it's definitely an obstacle to overcome.

Regardless of that shortcoming, Microsoft continues to prove that it doesn't want or need to tie all of its services only to Windows. Instead, the company is thinking forward and building its mobile base on the backs of Android devices and iPhones.