It is barely two weeks since Microsoft released its latest operating system, Windows 10. Already there have been some concerns about the OS coming with default settings that throw away respect for privacy to the wind. There are also those who are of the opinion that Windows 10 is the best thing yet, to have ever happened to Windows PC users.

Be that as it may, this post is actually about the fight between Google’s digital assistant Google Now and Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana on mobile devices. Particularly Google’s mobile operating system, Android.

Android mobile devices being more popular that Microsoft’s Windows mobile devices, it makes a lot of sense for the Redmond software giant to avail Cortana on Android. However, currently the beta version is only available to private beta program members. The public beta is yet to be made available by Microsoft.

Only a handful of developers has so far had the privilege of installing Cortana private beta on their Android devices. They say Cortana gives them the option of replacing Google Now and becomes the default digital assistant on their Android devices.

The standard shortcut for users on Android to replace Google Now with Cortana, is to long press and swipe up the home button. However, the latest Cortana version does not allow users on Nexus devices to replace Google Now by swiping from left to right.

Unlike when using Windows Phone or Windows 10 PC, users cannot say “Hey Cortana” to get the digital assistant working, like they would say “Ok, Google” on an Android device to get the native digital assistant working. Nevertheless, the fact that users can now setup Cortana as their default digital assistant on an Android device is a significant milestone for Microsoft over Google.

This move will likely be most appreciated by mobile devices users who love Microsoft’s ecosystems but are not pleased with the Windows Phones. Sort of like, maintain the user experience rich Android smartphone while at the same time enjoy Microsoft’s ecosystem in a seamless way.

If you are currently participating in Cortana for Android private beta program and would like to replace Google Now with Cortana, update to the latest APK version. Some of the additional features found on the new APK includes news, daily summaries, and interests highlights on your home screen section and on access to Cortana’s notebook.

Please note that the unofficial APKs should be installed at owner’s risks despite the fact that they are not hard to find, but you should install them at your own risk. For more information on the Cortana unofficial APK, go to Microsoft website.

Advantages of Cortana on Android Devices

If you are like me and spend a lot of time on a Windows PC, and have an Android smartphone. The transition from your PC to a smartphone will be seamless, and Cortana will bring to you all your reminders and calendar events across both platforms.