Posts tagged google-now

Cortana is here. Photo: Microsoft

Cortana is here. Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft Cortana today makes its debut on Android following its early release to a small number of testers last month. The beta release is available to anyone who’s interested in testing it, and Cortana can be summoned using Google Now’s home button shortcut.

Get Marshmallow's new launcher right now. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Get Marshmallow’s new launcher right now. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Google’s new launcher baked into Android 6.0 Marshmallow has been extracted from the company’s latest Developer Preview and is available to download now. The launcher comes with all of Marshmallow’s new wallpapers, as well as some welcome performance improvements.

Cortana is coming. Photo: Microsoft

Cortana is coming. Photo: Microsoft

Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant originally built for Windows Phone, will arrive on Android to take on Google Now next month. The app will initially be available in beta as a companion to Cortana on Windows 10 PCs.

Google's Aparna Chennapragada shows how Now on Tap will handle your hardest Skrillex queries. Screenshot: Cult of Android

Google’s Aparna Chennapragada shows how Now on Tap will handle your hardest Skrillex queries. Screenshot: Cult of Android

Google Now is about to get far more powerful, thanks to a promising new feature called Now on Tap that leverages contextual search to offer quick answers to quick questions from within various apps.

“We’re working on a new capability to assist you in the moment — right when you need it, wherever you are on the phone,” said Google Now product manager Aparna Chennapragada as she previewed the impressive new functionality during Thursday’s kickoff keynote at Google I/O 2015.

For instance, asking, “What’s his real name?” while listening to a Skrillex track could return the DJ’s name from within a music app, making Google’s hive mind more accessible than ever. (FYI it’s Sonny John Moore.)

Cortana in action on Android. Screenshot: Cult of Android

Cortana in action on Android. Screenshot: Cult of Android

The battle between virtual assistants is about to hot up again as Microsoft Cortana prepares to go cross-platform to take on Siri and Google Now. The intelligent virtual assistant will be arriving on Android and iOS later this year, but you can get a sneak peek in the video below.

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