Skype for Android adds Cortana support for chat suggestions and more

Skype for Android adds Cortana support for chat suggestions and more

If you're really, really awkward in Skype text conversations, or you just want someone to think you're paying attention without all that pesky human interaction, you can now get help from Cortana. Cortana will be available on both iOS and Android, but Microsoft says its assistant "will be gradually rolled out" starting in the United States, so you might not have access yet. You'll also be able to start a private chat with Cortana, offering a way to interact with the assistant directly.

How does Microsoft describe this plastic-pal-who's-fun-to-be-with stuff?

Furthermore, Skype users will be able to chat with Cortana directly, and ask the assistant questions in one-to-one conversations, if needed. Smart replies, much like those that pop up in Allo, are also available courtesy of Cortana, which could save you the odd second here and there. (Or, as more cynical types out there might argue, Cortana will be constantly eavesdropping on your conversations and will butt in from time to time to annoy you).

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Vulture South would note that capabilities like this are a natural objective of Microsoft's decision, unpopular at least among Skype old-timers, to abandon the peer-to-peer model and run conversations through its cloud.

Since it has in-context assistance, Cortana can suggest useful information based on the chat such as movie reviews and restaurant suggestions.

At least for users in the USA to begin with, and those on iOS and Android phones for that matter, although doubtless these are the first steps towards a global cross-platform rollout for all Skype software. Suggestions from Cortana can also be turned off by going to Settings Cortana Toggling the switch off.

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