One of the biggest ways Microsoft has beefed up its mobile presence is by making its AI assistant, Cortana, available on Android and iOS smartphones. But Android users who replaced Google Now with Cortana for hands-free assistance will have to revert to saying “Ok Google” after Microsoft removed the “Hey Cortana” feature from the latest version of the Cortana app.
The feature, which officially rolled out two weeks ago, let users replace “Ok Google” with “Hey Cortana,” enabling Cortana’s features outside the app. But, according to the release notes from the latest update to the Android app, Microsoft “removed [the] ‘Hey Cortana’ feature for [the] US market.”
WinBeta, which first spotted the removal, suggests that Cortana may have been conflicting with Google Now. Back when Cortana’s system-wide availability was still in beta, some Android users were prevented from using the microphone. According to Microsoft, that problem persisted into the final release.
“We’ve received user feedback that the ‘Hey Cortana’ feature is conflicting with Android voice search and are temporarily disabling the feature while we evaluate a solution,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.
Users will still be able to use Cortana to set reminders and use other Cortana features within the app, but “Hey Cortana” will no longer work outside the app. Microsoft declined to give a timeline for the feature’s return.