Cortana is one of the center points of Microsoft’s future strategy. Satya Nadella has implied many times: natural language interaction with a computer is the easiest way to use a computer. The technology isn’t there yet, but it’s getting there.
The Android app recently saw an update that gave it some nice bling along with a release in the United Kingdom. Today, the Android app has received another update – but only for those on the beta channel.
For those who are on the beta channel of Cortana; Cortana is now available on the lock screen, much like the camera app.
To be clear – this integration isn’t like Google’s, where Google’s Assistant can be triggered from the lock screen. It’s rather somewhat of a workaround.
Once the feature is enabled within Cortana’s settings, Cortana will appear on the lock screen much in the same way the camera app does – as an icon the user can pull on.
This doesn’t give the user the ability to trigger Cortana with “Hey Cortana” on the lock screen, but it does have a benefit. The workaround means Cortana can work with all – and any – lock screen, even custom ones.
The Cortana logo simply shows up at the bottom of the screen; swiping it left or right opens the Cortana panel. There is no privacy here, though; the Cortana integration bypasses the lock screen and doesn’t have an option for a PIN. This means anyone will be able to have a look at the user’s Cortana panel, without having to unlock the device.
The beta update is now rolling out via the Google Play Store as we speak. Those who have the Cortana app installed and are part of the beta channel should be receiving the update as soon as Google pushes it to them.
If you want to test out the update and are not signed up as a beta tester, here’s the link to become a guinea pig. The Cortana app itself is available on the Google Play Store, as always.
There’s no word of an integration like this for iOS; though, the locked-down nature of iOS makes it quite near to impossible to have something like this.