Cortana 3.0 Launches in Beta on Android

Posted on October 16, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Microsoft, Mobile with 19 Comments

Microsoft updated many of its Android apps overnight. Among them is a major update to the Cortana Beta with a new user interface and additional functionality.

On my Pixel, I received updates to Microsoft Launcher, Microsoft Edge, Your Phone Companion, and Microsoft News in the past 12 hours. But the biggest update, by far, was to the Beta version of Cortana, which has been upgrading to version 3.0.

And it’s obviously a major new version of the app. Gone is the old purple backdrop, replaced by a more modern and cleaner-looking white UI. The default view, Upcoming, now displays the weather and any other events and items that are coming up soon.

And there are two other main views, Discover and Devices, plus a microphone button for kicking off voice commands.

Discover helps you learn what Cortana can do for you. There are classic Cortana functions in there, like listening to music or discovering the weather forecast. But also new capabilities, such as making phone calls, listening to new emails, and more.

Devices helps you control and manage your Cortana-connected devices, like the Harman Kardon Invoke, GLAS Smart Theromostat, and Surface Headphones, plus configure Amazon Alexa connectivity.

Finally, the new navigation pane flies off of the right side of the app, and it provides access to your Notebook, Cortana settings, Reminders, Lists, and Music.

As before, you can configure Cortana 3.0 as your default assistant on Android and enable a goofy Cortana “bubble” so its always available from your home screen.

It’s not clear when non-Beta users will see this update, but I’d imagine it happens pretty quickly.


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