Microsoft decoupled Cortana from the OS, launching a new Cortana app in beta with Windows 10 20H1 build 18945 in July 2019. The app provides a more conversational UI and can be updated independently since it is no longer tied to the OS. The Redmond giant also clipped Cortana’s wings in terms of its abilities when it announced that it is killing off smart home capabilities and third-party skills.
Now, a new update to the Cortana Beta app is bringing back a hardware section. The section serves to control Cortana supported devices, such as the Surface Headphones, the Xbox One console, and the Harmon Kardon Invoke smart speaker. The settings also include Amazon Alexa devices that may be connected to Cortana.
Once updated and opened for the first time, the section lists all the devices connected to Cortana. It then lets users manage different app permissions and settings for the devices. The section also directs users to the Microsoft Store to download the Cortana Device Setup app when trying to set up the Surface Headphones for the first time.
The update is a welcome addition, considering that the company is reportedly planning on releasing new Surface Headphones. The Surface Earbuds that were announced last year are also expected to launch on May 6. A single source to control such devices through the Cortana app would be easier. Insiders running the Windows 10 May 2020 update in the Slow and Release Preview rings should see the update for the app in the Microsoft Store.