When it comes to Microsoft’s mobile operating system, it doesn’t really have much of a market share in the smartphone market. Because of this, the company has been put to task to get creative about distribution. The company recently announced a third-party SDK strategy for developers and device makers.
Now, a forthcoming update will make the virtual assistant accessible on the Android lock-screen. According to MSPoweruser:
Once you install the new update and open Cortana, it’ll ask you to enable “Cortana on lock screen” — and clicking on the “Add Cortana to my lock screen” button will enable this feature on your phone. After that, a simple Cortana logo will show up near the bottom of your lock screen and you can swipe the logo left or right to open up the Cortana panel — similar to how the camera shortcut works on most Android devices. From the Cortana panel on your lock screen you can get all the updates and even ask Cortana anything you want.
According to Microsoft, Cortana has 145 million users across their ecosystem, including Windows 10, Android, iOS, and Xbox. There will be other hardware devices that includes Cortana, such as the Harman Kardon stand-alone speaker, which will emerge soon.
The number of Android users who will download Cortana, or opt in to enable its lock-screen presence is currently not clear. This is because there’s the presence of Google Assistant, as well as OK Google (from the Android 7 lock-screen). Due to the existence of these, it could be quite a challenge for Cortana to make a mark.
But when it comes to the lock-screen, the strategy for this does differentiate Cortana to a point, at least from the current version of Google Assistant. Its more fully functioning lock-screen capabilities might be regarded by some people as a complement or alternative to the Google Assistant for quick information without the need to unlock their phones.
With the iOS functionality, it’s not quite as high as the Android version. The Apple device isn’t going to be getting lock-screen access, but it can still drive adoption by being more competent than Siri at quotidian tasks.