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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Comments (7)

7 responses to “Cortana App for Android Adds Home Screen Support Too”

  1. Tony Barrett

    The general consensus seems to be that people have given up on Cortana in the consumer space. With no mobile platform of their own, Android is Microsoft's only real avenue for Cortana, which means it's going nowhere. Period. There's almost zero wiggle room for MS on iOS because of Apple's draconian locked down systems, and they alreay have Siri anyway - even if she's pretty dumb. Alexa is moving in on Windows desktop (no doubt shortly followed by Google's AI which is being baked into Chrome). Where exactly does that leave Cortana? Enterprise AI? Maybe disappearing into the ether, but 'powering' other MS systems? This is just one more step to MS literally vanishing into the cloud, which in all honesty, is where they're heading anyway.

    • seapea

      In reply to ghostrider:

      I use Cortana from the Invoke to send reminders and appointment setups , and the results from Cortana on my Android phone are excellent. They also show up on my linked Cortana on a pc.

      ie: it works and works smoothly.

      • graple

        In reply to seapea:

        Same here seapea. I have an Invoke and an Android phone and I just love the Cortana interaction from both and on the PC. Couldn't live without her, lol. I use the Fitbit skill and the Phillips Hue and couldn't be more happy.

  2. SvenJ

    Oh goody. Yet another thing that could potentially respond to "Hey Cortana".

  3. jmeiii75

    This only works on the home screen on my Pixel XL, not on the lock screen. That's unfortunate. Of course, it's in beta and is likely not going to work reliably yet.

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