If you're a beta tester for Microsoft's Launcher app on Android, it's once again time to check for updates. Today, the company added Cortana integration to the app, meaning that you can now use the digital assistant without having the dedicated application installed. Version 4.6 showed up in beta just two days after version 4.5 hit general availability, offering new customization improvements.
You'll now see a Cortana icon on the home screen, and upon clicking it, the voice interaction overlay will pop up. You can still interact via the onscreen keyboard by clicking an icon in the lower-left, but you don't get your Cortana feed. There's also no access to your Notebook, so you can't set up third-party skills, or devices without getting the standalone Cortana app.
You'll also find Cortana in the Microsoft Launcher's feed. The widget pretty much acts in the same way as if you launch it from the icon on the home screen.
Here's the full changelog for version 4.6:
- Now Cortana, your personal digital assistant comes in the Microsoft Launcher: use Cortana to make a call, schedule meetings, change wallpaper, Continue on PC or read the latest headlines!
- Share Launcher via NFC & QR code;
- Support for Arabic/RTL languages
- Intune integration supports remote data-wiping;
- Choose what contacts to display on your People card
- Place widgets into the dock
- Pin searched app/contact to home screen
Microsoft has been regularly adding features to its Android launcher since it was first made available as a Garage project called Arrow Launcher. Since then, it's been downloaded more than 10 million times, and currently has an average rating of 4.6 out of five.
To update or install Microsoft Launcher, you can find it on the Google Play Store here.