Cortana App for Android Adds Home Screen Support Too

Posted on February 2, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Mobile with 7 Comments

Cortana App for Android Adds Home Screen Support Too

Earlier this week, Mehedi wrote about a new beta version of the highly-regarded Microsoft Launcher for Android that provides a way to access Cortana from your phone’s lock screen. But now you don’t need to use Microsoft Launcher for this functionality: The standalone Cortana app is being updated to provide lock screen access to Cortana too.

The one caveat is that you will need to use the beta version of the Cortana app in order to get lock screen support for now. (It will be added to the non-beta version at a later date, I assume.)

When you launch the new app version for the first time, you’re prompted to add lock screen support. But you can always toggle this option later by navigating to Settings > Home and lock screen, of course.

“Cortana is now part of your home screen,” the app release notes explain. “Quickly glance at your day for upcoming events and reminders. Assess convenient shortcuts for voice commands and reminder creation. Enable this new home screen feature through the Cortana app settings page.”

I’m having a humorously hard time seeing this feature—my Pixel 2 XL has an always-on display mode over the lock screen, and the OnePlus 5T’s facial recognition is so fast, the lock screen disappears quickly—but it appears to add a circular and translucent Cortana symbol on the side of the screen. You can swipe over from that to see Cortana. Or you could just enable “Hey, Cortana,” of course.


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