Here are some of the things you can do with Cortana “above the lock”:
- Get your schedule/see your day at a glance.
- Get and set reminders.
- Interact with and add to lists.
- Get answers to questions.
Microsoft previously announced that Cortana has 145 million users across its ecosystem, including on Windows 10 machines, Android, iOS and the Xbox. There will also be standalone Cortana hardware devices using the Cortana SDK.
It’s not clear how many Android users will download Cortana and opt in for the lockscreen experience. The Google Assistant does essentially the same things as Cortana and is native to Android. But the lockscreen strategy does help differentiate Cortana from the Google Assistant, which currently doesn’t offer much “above the lock” functionality.
Separately, Apple released its iOS 10.3 update. It includes a wide range of new features, with a number of Siri-related upgrades:
- Support for paying and checking status of bills with payment apps
- Support for scheduling with ride-booking apps
- Support for checking car fuel level, lock status, turning on lights and activating horn with automaker apps
- Cricket scores and statistics for Indian Premier League and International Cricket Council
Virtual assistants and voice search constitute one of the hottest and most competitive segments today, with Amazon expected to sell its 20 millionth Alexa-powered device at some point this year. Moreover, comScore estimated that roughly half of all search queries will be initiated through voice by 2020.
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