Yesterday Microsoft and Cheetah Mobile announced a new partnership, where Microsoft will be bringing Cortana to the CM Launcher on Android. This is all part of Microsoft’s plans to bring Cortana everywhere and more users and devices, even including an inbuilt Cortana experience with Microsoft Launcher.
This partnership with Cheetah Mobile means CM Launcher users will be the first to experience direct Cortana integration in an Android mobile launcher app. CM Launcher users can now try out the Cortana version of the launcher as part of an open beta in the United States, Britan, Canada, and Australia. There are plans to bring the official version of the launcher to the market in these countries in January of 2018.
The Cortana integration in CM Launcher will allow users to make hands-free calls, create events, read news headlines, translate and search the web. CM Launcher will also let Cortana provide event reminders, nearby restaurant recommendations and news headlines within CM Launcher’s user interface. There are even plans to add more new unique CM Launcher Cortana features in the future, allowing Microsoft to take advantage of CM Launcher’s large user base.
Interestingly, Microsoft recently published a promotional video on YouTube, showing off the company’s plans to bring Cortana everywhere. The description of the video makes reference to the Cheetah Mobile partnership, but the company even hints that Cortana may be integrated with Microsoft Launcher as well. There’s even a segment around the 50-second mark which appears to show the Microsoft Launcher integration.
Cortana is coming to more places for more people, including the Microsoft Launcher and Cheetah Mobile Launcher apps on Android and on the new Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker, where you can make calls, control your home, and now manage your emails and calendars across both Outlook and Gmail using only your voice, to help you across work and life to achieve more while doing less.
Of course, it’s best to take this with a fine grain of salt as the company did not publish any official announcement posts about Cortana coming to Microsoft Launcher. Still, this is very interesting to say the least, as CM Launcher and Microsoft Launcher are both popular and available in more markets than the standalone Cortana app in Andriod. This may very well work in Microsoft’s favor, helping put the power of AI in everyone’s pockets.