Microsoft adds Cortana voice assistant access to Android lock screen

On Google Assistant's turf, Microsoft brings its voice assistant front and center on Android devices with the Cortana app installed.

(Screenshot: MSPoweruser)

Microsoft on Monday updated the Cortana app for Android to enable users to launch the voice assistant from the Android lock screen without unlocking the device.

Users can now add a Cortana button above the lock on the Android lock screen, and they're ready to shout voice commands for access to information like weather, calendar appointments, and more, when the button is swiped left or right.

For PC users, Cortana's voice assistant could add some familiarity and cross-platform functionality with Google's mobile platform, especially for things like reminders and appointments.

A previous version of the Cortana app for Android allowed users to access Cortana's feed functionality from the lock screen with a swiping gesture. Microsoft said with the new update users can now quickly add reminders and new calendar items through an improved user interface.

The update is now available on Google Play. Cortana for iOS and Android has also expanded to Australia, previously only available in the US and the UK.

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