Back in December Microsoft redesigned the Cortana experience on Android and iOS, and now the company is already working on a big new feature addition. Over in the beta channel of the Cortana for Android app, Microsoft is testing bringing the virtual assistant onto your lock screen.
If you decide to become a beta tester for the app now, or if you simply wait for the inevitable release to everyone in the near future, once you get the update that enables this functionality you’ll be asked if you want to add Cortana to your lock screen. Answering that affirmatively will result in a Cortana logo always showing up near the bottom of your (otherwise untouched) lock screen.
If you swipe that icon left or right, the Cortana panel will open, which will show you updates and let you interact with the assistant. Apparently this is supposed to work regardless of which lock screen you use. It’s important to note that Cortana on the lock screen doesn’t require your phone to be unlocked in order to work. This obviously could be a problem for some, since anyone with access to your phone is able to access your data in the Cortana app, which you may not want.
Hopefully by the time the lock screen functionality goes out of beta this will be sorted out, presumably with the addition of the ability to hide sensitive information until the device is unlocked.