If many of you probably can’t wait for Microsoft to unveil Project Scorpio or a new Surface device, the upcoming Cortana-powered speaker from Harman Kardon could end up to be much more interesting. We still have very few details about this new product so far, except that it could push Microsoft’s digital assitant to the next level (what’s better than a dedicated device to accomplish that?) To do that though, this connected speaker will have to play nice with third-party services, something that Amazon’s Alexa-powered devices are already pretty good at.
If you already installed the Windows 10 Creators Update, you may have noticed that Cortana has become much better at controlling music playback. Not only can you use it to play music from Microsoft’s Groove Music app, but the app now integrates with the TuneIn Radio and iHeartRadio apps as well. As you can imagine, being able to play the music of your choice on a connected speaker is a killer feature for consumers, and it seems that this Harman Kardon speaker will not disappoint.
MSPoweruser is reporting today that an update is currently rolling out to some users of the Cortana Android app, and the latest version brings a setup page for the connected speaker which will be branded Harman Kardon Invoke. As you can see in the screenshots below, it seems that the Invoke will support several popular music streaming services in addition to Groove, including TuneIn Radio, iHeartRadio, Pandora and Spotify.
It seems that the experience is not completely polished yet: as an example, the description on the Spotify page is the one for Pandora. However, supporting Spotify seems a must have as the music streaming service is one of the most popular options out there, with over 100 million active users as of June 2016.
We didn’t receive this update for the Cortana app on our Android phones yet, but this new dedicated Devices section suggests that the Curtana-powered speaker could be unveiled really soon. Build 2017 is just two weeks away, so we hope to learn more about it during the developer conference.