Microsoft could be getting ready to kill the Cortana app from Microsoft Launcher, as pointed out from a tweet from Windows Central’s Zac Bowden. Cortana has been one of the defining features of Microsoft Launcher on Android phones and tablets, allowing users quick access to various tasks such as listening to text messages, music, and calendar events without opening an app.
I'm hearing that Microsoft is going to pull Cortana from the Microsoft Launcher on Android in the next couple of months. That sucks, if true. But with Cortana pivoting to being more about productivity, I'm honestly not surprised.
— Zac Bowden (@zacbowden) November 5, 2019
Microsoft's latest moves suggest the company is focusing Cortana as a productivity assistant. The company recently announced Cortana integration in Outlook mobile app for iOS devices with Play My Emails, allowing users to listen to emails and interact with them on the go.
As to whether Microsoft will continue to support Cortana as a consumer assistant isn’t yet clear. Even if Microsoft does removed Cortana from the Microsoft Launcher app, there's still the dedicated Cortana app for Android.
Perhaps Microsoft just wants to simplify its offering as just one app for general consumers. Having both Cortana app and Microsoft Launcher on the phone can be somewhat confusing, especially as both of them can be set as the default assistants on Android devices.
On the bright side, Microsoft is bringing theme improvements to version 5.10 of the app to beta testers. The company is testing a new “system theme” setting to allow the Launcher’s display mode reflect that as set in the phone's system settings.
What do you think about Cortana's removal from the Microsoft Launcher app? Do you find the apps other features to be useful enough, or was Cortana your go-to? Share your thoughts in the comments area below.