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(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana is finally ready to make her bow in the UK.

As well as a major update to the existing Android app in the US, Microsoft has made it available to UK Android device owners for the first time. It is available to download from the Google Play store now.

An iPhone version of the updated application will also be available in a few weeks, to US and UK iPhone owners - again a first this side of the pond.

In many ways Brits get a more rounded app. Instead of being a voice assistant primarily, the new Cortana software offers enhanced reasons to use it over Google Assistant or Siri.

Version 2.0.1 has an improved look, which is more simple and, well, purple. It also brings the non-voice functionality to the fore, with quick actions popping up to give you immediate access to your most used functions without having to bark vocal commands at your phone. It will also now connect to your device's calendar to sync reminders and meetings.

Answers will now appear full-page and the overall performance of the app will be faster and smoother.

Cortana is a free download and if you already use it on your PC or Xbox One, it's a no-brainer as it syncs all of your information between devices.

Writing by Rik Henderson.