Microsoft has quietly rolled out a new feature on their personal assistant Cortana that Android users will appreciate. Now in Microsoft Cortana, you can set up the assistant to have access to your Google account, allowing it to access both your Google calendar as well as your contacts. Previously calendars and contacts were limited to Office 365 accounts or to an Outlook.com account.
The addition of Google services means that users of Cortana on their Android phone, PC or their Harman Kardon Invoke, will be able to ask Cortana about events on their Google Calendar or make a call to a Google Contact, a likely scenario for Android users.
As you would expect, this new integration requires that you connect your Google account to Cortana and authorize it. This is done via Connected Services which can be found in your Cortana Notebook section of the app or on your PC.
This addition to Microsoft Cortana is just the latest in a long series of updates and improvements that the Redmond company has been making to their personal assistant app & service. You may recall that back in August it was announced that Cortana would be integrated with Amazon Echo devices as a new skill which was followed up in October with the launch of Invoke, Microsoft’s Google Home and Amazon Echo competitor. Add to this the Business Insider report back in September that pointed to Cortana as being the second most accurate assistant behind Google Assistant. Microsoft has a solid assistant, it is a matter of people finding out about it outside of the sphere of Windows 10. With the addition of Google services, they are pushing beyond the Windows world nicely.
For those that are curious about Microsoft Cortana, it is a free app and available in the Google Play Store. You will need a Microsoft account (likely a Hotmail.com or Outlook.com address) to configure & personalize it.