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How to Get Cortana on Your Android Lock Screen

It's about to get a whole lot easier for Android users to ask Cortana for help.

Currently, you need to either open the assistant's app or swipe up from the home screen, but an upcoming version of the app will bring Cortana to the lock screen.

You don't need to wait to check out this new way to use Cortana. Just follow these easy steps.

  1. Join the Cortana app's public beta program.
  2. After you download the app from the Google Play store, you'll get an update with the testing version.
  3. Then, install that update
  4. Open the app and tap"add Cortana to my lock screen."
  5. The assistant's logo will appear near the bottom of the lock screen, and you can swipe to open it.

MORE: Best Android Apps You're Not Using

Unfortunately, the digital assistant doesn't work exactly as you might desire. The report, published today (Jan. 18) by MSPowerUser, reveals that you'll need to swipe left or right on the Cortana's circular icon to activate it, rather than by speaking "Hey Cortana."

Those worried about the privacy implications of placing Cortana on the lock screen have a reason to be suspicious, as the beta version of the app doesn't require you to unlock your device to use Cortana.

With Cortana available to anyone who can access your phone, you're risking the assistant spilling all the data it has on you. We'd be surprised if a safeguard option that protects against this risk doesn't make it into the app when Microsoft moves the app from Beta to public.

Henry T. Casey

Henry is an editor writer at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and Apple. Prior to joining Tom's Guide — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and looking for the headphone adapter that he unplugged from his iPhone.