Microsoft Brings Cortana to Its Android Launcher

Posted on January 31, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Android with 14 Comments

Microsoft is bringing Cortana to the Microsoft Launcher on Android devices. The latest beta for Microsoft Launcher on Android brings native Cortana integration, allowing users to use the smart assistant from within their phone’s launcher, without needing to actually launch the Cortana app.

Cortana shows up as a card in the Launcher’s feed, where you can trigger some frequently used commands. Cortana also seems to be triggering the commands right from the Launcher, without needing to open up the actual Cortana app. It lets you manage your To-Do lists using Cortana, too.

The addition of Cortana is a huge step forward for the Microsoft Launcher. Ever since Microsoft rebranded the launcher, it has been rapidly adding features to the launcher, which was initially an experimental project from Redmond’s Garage lab. “Today is a special day for you because we are proudly announce the Microsoft Launcher v4.6 version and include looooong waited Cortana integration,” said one of the engineers behind Launcher, announcing the new integration.

Cortana integration on Microsoft Launcher is available as a beta for now, and it will be coming to everyone else in the coming weeks. A beta user of the app told me the integration is quite rough, but that’s expected from a beta release.

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Comments (14)

14 responses to “Microsoft Brings Cortana to Its Android Launcher”

  1. toph36

    I already have Cortana set as the default on my phone, so all I have to do is hold the Home Button to access it, regardless of the launcher. Still, this could be helpful.

  2. Chris Mertens

    I have set the feed as my home screen (which has worked out great!) so adding Cortana as a card could be useful. I'll be interested to see how much I use it.

  3. dontbe evil

    finally ... hope they'll integrate the lock screen too

  4. Clarkb

    Does the Launcher work on Oreo yet? Installed it on a Pixel XL running Oreo back in October, then removed it as it was causing compatibility issues.

    • wright_is

      In reply to Clarkb:

      I had it running on my Nexus 5X running Oreo 8.0 and 8.1. I now have it running on a Hauwei Mate 10 Pro running Oreo. I haven't experienced any problems with either device and the MS Launcher.

  5. Jeremy Petzold

    Sad it took so long. If they had integrated it 18 months ago then maybe Microsoft could have made a real play in the assistant market.

  6. Terrence_Cole

    Do you guys think that Cortana will be region locked in Microsoft launcher? Hope not...

  7. wright_is

    Any news on when Cortana for Android will be made available in Europe and the rest of the world?

    On the other hand, the Google Assistant seems to have improved a little. I complained that I couldn't get it to play Audible books, but I set up a new Hauwei this week and, for a laugh, I told it to play Audible and my audio book started playing! :-O

  8. cybrtitan

    I'm just frustrated that neither the Cortana app or the MS launcher support assistant launch via Bluetooth which I used a lot in my car with my windows phone. That being said neither does Alexa but SoundHound's assistant "hound" does support this use case so it can be done by third parties.

  9. oldpueblo

    Does anyone else have the issue where you have Cortana as your default assistant and it always fails on the first home button press? It starts up and then right as you're about to speak it just cancels. It always works the second time. That's why I've been waiting for this integration for so long.

  10. Maxpayne

    So, if Microsoft has been able to develop Cortana on android platform isn’t it possible that they could release this as an independent app for android users? Thought android has got its one virtual assistant, I believe there would be people who would love to try this one too.

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