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Image credit: Devindra Hardawar/AOL

Talk to Cortana even when your Android phone is locked

Microsoft's virtual assistant will listen to you from the lock screen.

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Devindra Hardawar/AOL

Windows Phone is basically dead, but that hasn't kept Microsoft's excellent voice assistant Cortana from finding a home on mobile. Cortana has been available on iOS and Android for a while now, and users of Google's mobile OS will find that the app has gotten a helpful new upgrade today. Android users can now talk to Cortana directly from their phone's lock screen. Previously, you could swipe to pull up some info stored in Cortana from the lock screen, but you couldn't actually interact with it or ask it questions.

That restriction has been removed -- Microsoft says that you can ask Cortana questions, set reminders and basically do anything else you might usually ask the app direct from the lock screen. Microsoft has also made some updates to the default Cortana home screen, showing glanceable info like weather, upcoming calendar items, commute times and so forth. It sounds handy, but given that Android basically does this in the Google Search search app, it's also a bit redundant. For those that use Cortana a lot on their Windows computers and want easy access to that info on their phone, though, this updated app should do the trick. The latest version of Cortana for Android is available now in the Google Play Store.

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