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It seems there are more changes in store for the Android version of Cortana. Following last month's user interface revamp, which was also applied to the iOS app, an upcoming update will allow the virtual assistant to be placed on your Android lock screen.
First spotted by MSPowerUser, the feature is already available to those enrolled in the app's beta program. It appears as a pop-pop in the latest version, asking users to enable "Cortana on lock screen."
Cortana doesn't replace or turn off whatever lock screen setup you currently have in place; it simply adds one-touch access to the AI like any other shortcut, such as the quick access camera function found on most Android handsets. Unlike the Windows version, you have to swipe the Cortana logo left or right to use the AI - just saying "Hey, Cortana" won't work.
MSPowerUSer notes that using Cortana from the lock screen doesn't require a phone's password or PIN, so anyone who has physical access to a handset would be able to see your personal information. It's suspected, however, that Microsoft will add the option to hide this kind of sensitive data at a later date, or it could implement some form of safety feature. Moreover, should you ask Cortana to perform an action that requires another app, the device will need to be unlocked.
If you want to get an early look at the Cortana lock screen feature, you can sign up to the testing program here. Expect a full rollout to follow in a few weeks time.