Cortana App Gets A Hardware Section

Harman Kardon Invoke

There was some noise on this front, that Microsoft would be adding a dedicated section for managing hardware devices in Cortana. You know, things that play nicely with her.

And, it looks like the company has done just that.

The biggest news on the Cortana front recently has been the announcement that she has been decoupled from the operating system. No longer baked in into the OS, Microsoft has opted to go with a new Cortana app that allows users to make use of the digital voice assistant.

In beta, this one saw daylight with Windows 10 20H1 build 18945, all the way back in July 2019. The application brings along a more conversational UI, but more importantly, it can be updated independently from Windows 10, as it is no longer tied to the operating system.

Of course, this announcement means Cortana also had her wings clipped when it came to abilities, as the smart home capabilities and third-party skills were killed off.

Cortana Beta App Hardware Section

Thankfully, we now have a sign that the Cortana Beta app is bringing back a hardware section. This is a place that will allow Cortana to control supported devices like the Xbox One Console, smart speakers like the Harmon Kardon Invoke, as well Amazon Alexa devices that are connected to Cortana.

Even the Surface Headphones, which we are getting a new model of.

Insiders that are running newer builds of the Windows 10 May 2020 Update in the Slow and Release Preview rings should see an update for the app in the Microsoft Store.

Updating and opening the app for the first time lists all the devices that are connected to Cortana in this new section. Users can manage different app permissions and settings for the devices, and also points users to the Cortana Device Setup app from the Store when setting up new hardware.

In other words, if you own hardware that is compatible with Cortana, then you have some good things headed your way.

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