Cortana is now accessible from your lock screen as Microsoft just announced an update to the app that will allow Android users to speak to Cortana and complete any of the tasks that are currently available without having to actually unlock the device. For Microsoft's digital voice assistant this is a nice big step in continuing to compete with rivals like Google Assistant, which can easily be used from the lock screen as well so long as users have the toggle enabled that will allow Google Assistant to unlock your device when it recognizes your voice model.
It should be noted that today's changes are different from the Cortana update that Microsoft introduced last month where they made it possible to see your day's plans that Cortana had stored. The update going out to users today makes it possible to interact with Cortana and complete tasks and not just view information from the app. With the new interaction possibility you can ask questions and receive answers, set up calendar dates, and more all right from the lock screen which should certainly be more efficient if the only reason you needed to pull your phone out of your pocket or pick it up off the table was to initiate these tasks.
In addition to the lock screen access, Cortana Home is getting a bit of an upgrade too, as users can now see things at more of a glance if they just want to get in a quick peek at certain information. Cotana Home's new glanceable details include scheduled events and reminders, the weather and travel time to work, and things look to have a new card style visual format. Microsoft also updated the lists and has said that they're now simpler to access for users. Cortana is only available in select markets, but today's update introduces Cortana to a new location where it wasn't previously available for users to install, which is Australia. The update is already live on the Play Store so users who have it installed should be able to see the available update from their my apps list if the app didn't just update automatically, and for anyone else who hasn't checked it out yet, you can grab it from the Play Store button below.