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Microsoft's Cortana ported to Android, with some big limitations

Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant has reportedly been ported to Android by an Italian hacker group aiming to replicate the Cortana experience.

Published onApril 20, 2015


Microsoft’s digital assistant, Cortana, has reportedly been ported over to Android by an Italian developer group. The group, who go by the name of OrangeSec, have reportedly tapped into Cortana’s servers to bring the service to Android, albeit with some large limitations.

Firstly, their creation – which is called Portaña – is only available in Italian and secondly, it doesn’t boast the offline capabilities of the real Cortana. The latter especially is down to the method of “porting” the app; instead of recreating the Cortana experience in Portaña, the hacker group is communicating with Microsoft’s servers and there is little direct integration within the Android OS.

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Rather than port the entire app, OrangeSec merely used Cortana’s backend servers to create a basic Android assistant that is lacking the polish and shine of Cortana:

When reached out for a comment by VentureBeat, a Microsoft spokesperson said:

“Cortana was first available for our Windows Phone customers in Spring of 2014, and we announced on January 21 that Cortana will come to PC and tablets later this year with the release of Windows 10,” a Microsoft spokesperson told VentureBeat. “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.”

Microsoft has long been rumoured to be working on bringing Cortana to both Android and iOS but the company is yet to comment on the rumours. Although there has been no official confirmation, the fact that Microsoft is bringing its other apps, such as Office, to Android and iOS suggests that it’s a matter of when – and not if – we’ll see Cortana on Android.

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