Microsoft Improves Cortana on the Android Lock Screen

Microsoft Improves Cortana on the Android Lock Screen

Earlier this month, Microsoft updated Cortana for Android so that it would work in a read-only mode above the lock screen. Now, you can interact with Cortana above the lock screen.

I recently highlighted Cortana as one of the key ways you can “Redmondize” your Android handset, noting that you could use it to replace Google Assistant and then access your preferred digital personal assistant by long-pressing on your device’s Home button too.

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Now, Cortana is getting even more interesting on Android. In addition to letting you view your day’s schedule, which became available earlier in March, you can now interact with Cortana above the Android lock screen. That is, you can “quickly get answers to your questions, set a reminder and more without having to unlock your device.”

Other new features include:

  • Improved positioning above the lock screen
  • New view for a quick glance of your day
  • Buttons to create Reminders and Lists from Cortana home
  • Improved reminder experience and location triggering

As always, Cortana is only available in select markets, which I know is irritating to international users. But Microsoft also announced today that Cortana is now available on both Android and iOS in Australia for the first time. So it’s slowly edging out in the world like a good digital personal assistant should.

You can download Cortana for Android from the Google Play Store.


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Conversation 14 comments

  • CompSciGuy31415

    27 March, 2017 - 11:06 am

    <p>I gave Cortana a chance last week, but without the "what song is this" functionality, it's a non-starter. ?</p>

  • Bats

    27 March, 2017 - 11:09 am

    <p>LOL…more INSTABILITY for Paul's Pixel !!!&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>That means more reason to blame to Google, for Paul's technological mishaps.</p><p><br></p><p>Let's get one thing clear here, Google Assistant is far superior to Cortana. It's not even close. You want proof? Go to Youtube and look at all the comparison tests. IMO, this is bad because Cortana is powered by Bing and the results just so poor.</p><p><br></p><p>However, I understand how Microsoft super-fans like Mr Thurrott so badly want to have a Microsoftcentric ecosystem, where there whole lives utilized Microsoft technology. Isn't it obvious? That's not going to happen.&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>Cortana will never…ever…ever bump off The Google Assistant in the battle for Android resources. Google will never allow it. Therefore a total MSFT experience is not going to be possible. It will always be a "shared experience" with the Google Assistant. This means more resources used and more ridiculous complaining by Paul.</p>

    • wolters

      Premium Member
      27 March, 2017 - 1:37 pm

      <p>"Let's get one thing clear here, Google Assistant is far superior to Cortana. It's not even close. "</p><p><br></p><p>I can agree there but I tend to use Cortana because it lists my "reminders" on my desktop Calendar app and shows me alerts on my PC, so it is more integrated with my devices. Would love to see Assistant on the desktop, </p>

      • scotttech1

        27 March, 2017 - 2:57 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#93259">In reply to wolters:</a></em></blockquote><p>Maybe just in Chrome even right? I have a Chromebook, it would be nice if it woke up and alerted me to these things.</p>

    • Brian Devins

      27 March, 2017 - 8:07 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#93206">In reply to Bats:</a></em></blockquote><p>I'm finding Google Assistant to be getting worse and worse every year. Less dependable and the UI gets less convenient. Meanwhile, Cortana is getting better every month. What I find really indispensable is Cortana email reminders that pop up unprompted.</p>

  • wright_is

    Premium Member
    27 March, 2017 - 11:18 am

    <p>Still waiting for Cortana to be released on Android…</p>

  • JimP

    27 March, 2017 - 12:46 pm

    <p>Can you say "Hey Cortana" yet?</p>

  • SpeedyPS

    Premium Member
    27 March, 2017 - 2:10 pm

    <p>It would be wonderful to have Cortana on an Android device here in New Zealand, but in typical Microsoft fashion, the Play Store reports "This item is not available in your country". </p><p><br></p><p>BTW, she works fine on our PC's (now that we got over the bit about her needing to be localized), so why does she not work on our phones.</p><p><br></p><p>If your product is not available worldwide, it is going to be hard to beat the opposition (who don't have this restriction). Are Microsoft not confident in Cortana in English speaking countries outside of US, UK and Australia.</p>

    • anchovylover

      27 March, 2017 - 2:45 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#93273">In reply to SpeedyPS:</a></em></blockquote><p>Well to be fair, you Kiwi's spell fish and chips as fush und chups 😉 ??</p>

  • anchovylover

    27 March, 2017 - 2:50 pm

    <p>Here's a thought, I wonder if we are being too hard on Cortana. Google and Apple have had years of successful mobile devices to make their assistants work so well. Cortana hasn't had the same and very little usage on mobile given the WM market share. Maybe we need to give Cortana some time. BTW, I'm aware Cortana works ok in America.</p>

  • scotttech1

    27 March, 2017 - 2:55 pm

    <p>Any word on Canada? Have they forgotten us? I had to circumvent the country settings on Xbox to get her working.</p>

    • anthonyfear

      29 March, 2017 - 12:29 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#93305"><em>In reply to scotttech1:</em></a></blockquote><p>I'm in Canada, I gave up waiting for an official release. I…… uh….. 'aquired' it via sideload. </p>

  • Gavin Groom

    28 March, 2017 - 12:40 am

    <p>Not seeing it on the Australian App Store.</p>

    • anchovylover

      28 March, 2017 - 2:04 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#93462">In reply to Gavin Groom:</a></em></blockquote><p>I just checked and I'm seeing it. I can't explain why though given we are both in Australia.</p>

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