Cortana 3.0 Launches in Beta on Android

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

19 responses to “Cortana 3.0 Launches in Beta on Android”

  1. RM

    Great to see the new Cortana management is not throwing in the towel!

    • PeteB

      In reply to RM:

      This has nothing to do with cortado just being tombstoned into the office division ..

      Like when Windows phone still received a few last pitiful minor updates before MS pulled the plug but fanboys believed it meant it wasn't dead yet.

  2. ianhead

    Lol, try switching your region to a non-US one. Conversational UI, Devices, Discover, Music, Lists, most services and skills all disappear. There's practically nothing left of it.

  3. Winner

    "OK Google, please pull Cortana out of the closet."

  4. ponsaelius

    The bigger problem outside the US is the continuing lack of availability of Cortana services. Its always nice to read what a fully functional Cortana assistant looks like because in the UK we don't have one. My Alexa speaker doesn't know what Cortana is and, since the Invoke has never been sold here, a Cortana speaker is as illusive as a Zune.

    I am certainly pleased that US customers benefit from Microsoft's US only strategy.

  5. wright_is

    Still not available on Android in Europe.

  6. Brandonlpierce

    Custom schedules for reminders. Oh happy day.

  7. Brazbit

    Programs on a phone should never have a white background. I hate pulling my phone out at night only to be blinded by the programming equivalent of some jerk driving at you with their high beams on. Please tell me there is a dark mode for this. I really don't want to have to remove Cortana from my phone again.

  8. fourbadcats

    Can you configure this version to read and respond to incoming texts like we could with Windows Phone? That was the most valuable aspect to Cortana there and the 2.0 version cannot do it..

  9. waethorn

    More Alexa spying to sell you Chinese garbage.

  10. Martin Sjöholm

    Finally available in ... no, not Swedish ...

  11. yagaboosh

    Until it lets me set timers I can't switch from Google Assistant.