Microsoft disables Cortana for Android voice feature after user complaints

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Microsoft delays Windows 10 Mobile update for old phones until 2016.

If you’re part of the minority rocking a Windows Phone 8 or 8.1 smartphone loud and proud, and if you were hoping to update to Windows 10 Mobile, we’ve got some bad news for you.Despite forecasting a rollout of the Windows 10 smartphone update in December several months ago, Microsoft now says the upgrade will take place next year on select devices.

Not even two weeks later, though, and the company has disabled the digital assistant’s hands-free feature on Android. “Hey Cortana” allows users to open Cortana and give her commands just by saying those two words. Although no particular devices suitable to the upgrade have been confirmed by Microsoft, The Verge reports that handsets will need to be equipped with a minimum of 8GB. They have to stand by an operating system with a new name every few years, significantly fewer apps than the competition, and a distant third place spot in the market.

According to the app’s changelog on Google Play (via WinBeta), the latest version includes “improved app stability” and “enhanced call and text features.” But the bullet point states, “Removed ‘Hey Cortana’ feature for US market.” Ready to think outside the (ad) box? In October, the promise was different. “Broad availability of Windows 10 on other devices, including mobile phones, will begin rolling out in December.” Of course, releasing software before it’s ready is never a good idea. At such a crucial time when Microsoft needs to hold onto the few loyal customers it still has, it really couldn’t afford to make them wait even longer. The good news is that Microsoft says it is “temporarily” disabling the hands-free feature, indicating that the company hopes to get it working properly at some point in the future. “Hey Cortana” is not available on iOS, and now no longer works on Android.

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