Microsoft made a private release last month of the beta version of its Cortana digital assistant for Android. Though there are a lot of similarities in the features offered by the Android version and the Windows 10 and Windows Phone version, Microsoft’s updated app is taking its support for Android to the next level.

Windows 9 Cortana Microsoft

Microsoft Cortana to replace Google Now

In the latest beta version, the shortcut for Google Now can now be replaced by Cortana by simply pressing and holding the home button, according to a report from The Verge. After the update, it will become quite easy for Microsoft to take over a common way of launching Google Now on handsets running the Android OS. Though Google Now can be accessed in several ways, Microsoft will be hoping that the majority of Android handset owners will at least experiment with Cortana and set it as the default home button setting.

“Hey Cortana” support is not yet included in the updated version as Cortana is not able to always listen for commands due to hardware limitations. For potential beta testers, Microsoft has introduced a signup process allowing them to test Cortana for Android before giving it a permanent place on their handsets.

Focus on iOS, Android

Lately, it has been seen that Microsoft is focusing on other Operating Systems to boost growth. The company recently updated the Microsoft Outlook app for Apple Watch, improving both the flexibility and the functionality of the email application. With this update, Apple Watch users will be able to read and reply to emails with much ease. Users can reply to email by tapping on the icon, which lead opens the dedicated Outlook app for the Apple Watch. The user can choose between a pre-formatted reply and a new reply.

Microsoft has invested considerable time in making sure all its products are available on the Apple Watch. In its first wave of apps for the smartwatch, it made available PowerPoint, OneDrive, OneNote and Skype. The new additions in recent weeks include Outlook, Yammer, Sunrise and Wunderlist. Even for Android Wear, Microsoft has been working to make available apps such as Microsoft Translator, OneNote, and OneDrive watch faces.