Microsoft is going to release its virtual assistant Cortana to Android and iOS. Many Microsoft Windows users are already fans of Cortana, especially with its integration in Windows 10. The decision for launching Cortana as a cross-platform app might not be groundbreaking, as both Android and iOS have there own digital assistants, Google Now and Siri respectively.
For now, you will not be able to get Cortana from the Google Play Store, as it is not finalised yet and isn’t ready for a release. However, the Cortana APK file has been release via many source, so you can still sideload the app from another source.
Before we start with the process, you should know that not all of the features of Cortana will work on Android. You will be able to process almost all commands, but the commands related to the OS settings will not work. For example, Cortana will not be able to access system settings or open apps using “Open (app name)” command. So you can’t ask her to “Open application manager” or similar commands.
You can’t get Cortana from Google Play Store, so you will have to sideload the app. Cortana for Android APK file is available for free to download via many sources. However, default Android settings don’t allow you to install apps from sources other than Google Play Store. So you will first have to enable installation from unknown sources to install the APK file.
Enable Unknown Sources
To enable Unknown Sources, tap on “Settings” and in there, tap on “Security”. Now, scroll down and you will see the option “Unknown Sources”. Tap on it to check the checkbox that enables “Unknown Sources”.
Note: Enabling “Unknown Sources” also means that you may also download apps from shady sources leading to damaging your phone system. So it is advised that after downloading the Cortana APK file, you disable this feature.
Download and Install Cortana
You can download Cortana from APKMirror.com for free (its a 19.4 MB file). Try to download the latest updated version as the Cortana for Android is still in beta (testing phase) so it will be updated frequently before the final release.
Once downloaded, just tap on the APK file and then tap on “Install” after checking all the permission to install the app.
Set up Cortana
When you will launch Cortana, you will be asked to accept Terms and Conditions and understand what a virtual assistant is. Just tap on “Next” on each page after reading to accept.
After that, you will be asked to provide the name by which Cortana may call you. Here, enter your name/nickname that you are comfortable with and tap on “Enter”. After that you will have to log in with your Microsoft Account to access Cortana.
If you use any of Microsoft services, like Outlook, Office 365, Xbox or OneDrive, etc. then you already have a Microsoft account, just use that. Otherwise, you will have to create a new account to use Cortana.
Enter your Microsoft account details and tap on “Next” to start using Cortana.