On the latest update for Cortana app for Android; the artificial intelligence created by Microsoft to be your personal digital assistant on Android devices, Microsoft has disabled the voice prompt. Previously you could summon Cortana to do your bidding by just saying ‘Hey Cortana’ to your phone’s microphone, and the digital assistant will pop up ready to serve you.
Microsoft made this update this week, removing the ‘Hey Cortana’ voice prompt. This development comes barely a month after Microsoft had released Cortana on the Android platform to users in the U.S. and China. The hands-free ‘Hey Cortana’ way of summoning the digital assistant on your Android phone is what makes Cortana a cool thing to use in the first place.
It seems Android users will have to continue enjoying Google’s own native digital assistant, which by the way can also be summoned by saying ‘Ok Google’ on your phone’s microphone. But as a user, this move by Microsoft feels like it is limiting our choices, in the numbers of digital assistant apps we can use on our smartphones.
According to a statement made by Microsoft to VentureBeat, the Company had to pull out the ‘Hey Cortana’ voice prompt for Android as it was interfering with Google’s own ‘Ok Google’ hands-free feature.
As cited by VentureBeat, a Microsoft spokesperson said, “We’ve received user feedback that the ‘Hey Cortana’ feature is conflicting with Android voice search and are temporarily disabling the feature while we evaluate a solution.”
Microsoft fell short of pointing exactly what these conflicts are, but some media reports started earlier this month say some users are complaining of not able to access their Google Now digital assistant via their phone’s microphone. These users started experiencing this problem shortly after installing Cortana on their Android devices.
Ironically, the early adopters who installed the beta version of Cortana for Android did not experience such glitches. The most recent update, Cortana v1.2 for Android, does not have the ‘Hey Cortana’ voice prompt but has other improvements said to improve its overall stability.
Users should expect a better call and text experience as Microsoft says in the updates change log. Note, the lack of voice prompt will only occur on Android devices, but users on Cyanogen devices will continue having the ‘Hey Cortana’ voice prompt as we stated in our earlier publication.