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Cortana for Windows 10 on phone has a slightly new look

One of the neater things about Cortana is that the "look" of the personal assistant is dynamic, not built into the OS. This means that the page layout can be changed by Microsoft on the backend at any time. Going forward, Microsoft is still tinkering with how Cortana is organized, dead space and general layout based on user feedback.

The two images you see in this article reveal the subtle changes coming in Windows 10. You can see the Cortana icon is now center instead of to the upper left and some other minor adjustments.

New Cortana for Windows 10

Also, yeah, there is a 'hamburger menu' there too. Get used to it, it was in a lot of Universal apps from Microsoft, although they say this may change before the final release.

We should caution that none of this is final. Microsoft expects to change things based on user feedback, but this is at least one look they are considering. We can expect to see this in the first preview edition of Windows 10 for phone due later in February.

Oh, and yes, you can now use voice dictation in every instance where there is a text box in Windows 10. The microphone in the upper left area of the keyboard shows how this will work (in combo with that new pointer stick).

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

193 Comments
  • Come on just a few days and I'll be rocking windows 10 on my Lumias!!! They could have changed the start screen look though.
  • They did change the start screen look
  • only one thing i really want and that is a way to spcify which cell phone number to send an SMS  on -- my brother for example during work hours can only be reached on his work number but after hours on his personal cell
  • Ben Wilson: I AGREE! another VERY simple option/feature that MS doesn't seem to see as worth their effort
  • Post it on uservoice
  • When majority of people in the world would be using two or more phones and each activated at different times of the day, they'll consider it. But not at the moment because it's a niche segment of the total phone user base who are doing that.
  • This feature has been there since Windows Phone 7 ...
  • Did you guys miss the feature how you can reply to a text message from the notification and with your voice? #can'tWait
  • @Nik Rolls, goes to show most people don't really "use" their phones at all. Either that or are just plain lazy and must be spoon fed everything lol...
  • Probably because not a lot of people have made that issue outspoken, or they don't find it to be as much of an issue. If enough users complained about it I'm sure MS would consider looking into it.
  • Have you suggested it??
  • You can already change numbers. In a messaging thread, tap the 3 dots, then "switch number." Also if you get a message from a different number it will automatically switch to that one.
  • if I understood your issue correctly. here is a solution, for your brother choose add Mobile (personal mobile) & Mobile 2 (work mobile). You then need to launch Messaging App and when you type his name.. it will show you both numbers just choose appropriate at that time. now whenever you wish to send message to other number from the more options in app bar you have "Switch Number" option to send message to mobile 2 whereas all SMS remains in same thread. just that you can't send SMS right from your People Hub. hope this helps.
  • Have you requested that from Microsoft? i would imagine Cortana would be able to take care of that.
  • You can change that already in the sms app lol.
  • Ummm, yeah...lol. It's already there.
  • Did you send it in as a suggestion???
  • Yep, my 3 WPs are ready for W10!!!
  • My 3 as well :D
  • You got 3??? O_o
  • Im a developer, I test on 512MB ram devices as well as larger screens.
  • Respect!
  • Thank you my friend, respect to you as well :)
  • Thank you ZackTheNever for being such a good considerate developer!
  • Thank you my friend for being a kind member of this community.
  • My 5 are as well...... I'm stocked!
  • LOL
    You only have 3? Pfff... I have 6.
  • My 31 are ready. Yep, I'm sad. I like them so much that I kept them.
  • #Whoa, im a developer and I only have 3, really cause that's all I need. 1 for large screen testing, 1 standard, and 1 512MB RAM.
  • My 4 are ready.
  • Not interested in 10. 8.1 has been bad enough :(
  • Do you mean windows 8.1 or windows phone 8.1??
  • Sorry wp8.1.. Don't get me started on windows 8. How many current apps are gonna fail if we install 10.
  • WP 8.1 has all the apps that a sane person needs.
  • Yes, but none are 10 tested :)
  • Remember when you first updated to wp8.1 and nearly all your apps got updated to work on 8.1? I think Windows 10 will do the same
  • Yeah. I remember that
  • How many of your apps stopped working when you upgraded to 8.1? All of mine continued to work, and then got better when optimized for 8.1.
  • They wouldn't need to be...
  • That's why we are here ;-) and the guy with his 36 phones :-)
  • That's not true my friend.
  • Pallav-- You can't be serious? The "app gap" is WP MAJOR problem. That being said, I'm ok with the app gap; it's the quality of the apps that I'm aggravated about. FB app on iOS and Android are infinitely better than on WP. And that's one example out hundreds!
  • True that^^^
  • App quality, and to a lesser degree the app gap, are problems.  I just got an iPhone for the first time (after being on WP for the last year, and Android before that) and am really amazed by how much better all the apps are...more functions and features nearly across the board.  WP is a much better OS in many ways than iOS but the app quality really hurt the experience for me (as well as problems connecting to my work's email server, which I think is a problem on there end in configuring stuff, but still and issue) I'm going to hang on to my 925 and try out W10 though, and when/if things get better with more universal apps, features, etc, I'd be happy to switch back.  Of course, even on iPhone, I'm keeping with MS services (outlook, onedrive, etc) since they work well.  If only there was a way to get Cortana on my iPhone...
  • App quality?? Just because facebook or any third party dev didn't release the latest build on WP platform suddenly makes the existing app " BAD quality"?? One update before the latest version android and IOS users were using this version and you were drooling over this. It's not app quality that's the problem its some kind of jealousy mixed with inferiority complex. Get over it guys. Its not like the current app is unusable. ​
  • I've not actually used the Facebook app on iOS, but i've seen my wife use it on her iPhone 5c, and I couldn't really tell what is better about the iOS version? I'm a very light facebook user but the Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 apps seem to work fine for me. I'm actually interested in hearing what the differences are, because I hear it mentioned a lot, but have yet to find out exactly what it does a lot better than the WP App - I'm not saying you're wrong at all, I can totally believe the iOS and Android apps are better, just nobody has ever really explained why exactly.
  • Me I think it perception maybe there are some differences but it mostly this, before the iphone 6 came out image stabilization wasnt important, even though clearly nokia was king, people were like its not important now that 6 pro has it and it better than nokia/ms its now very important, even though it acheive by having ois and soft stabilization both, however when the new 1030 comes it wont matter again as microsoft will take back it crown, well it still hasnt lost it in quality of pictures. Me I think if you could put the exact same version on both phone people would still say the same, even if you put a better version one the win 10 phone either two things would happen they would still say the iphone is better or the would say all of a sudden it doesnt matter. each year when the new iphone come out the comedian make fun of the ihpone user by getting and old version and saying it the new version and they all fall for it one time they got an imac and took the legs of it and said it was the new ihpone 6 and people fell for it ( 20" monitor) people will belive anything. Me I say judge for your self.
  • No sadly it doesn't, to my incalculable dismay. But if the next one ever does, my 1520 will be waiting. In the meantime I am doing my best to endure this gnat of a 6 Plus and it's genuine (faux) beautiful icon grid. Blech
  • iOS is more like Asha or Nokia 7710 with pinch-zoom
    the icons just sit there - one uses one app at a time
    Widgets and Live Tiles are the modern multitasking thing
    but
    you feel pretty good when you pay Premium! 
  • Maybe you should wait for awhile. Windows 10 new features looks good. Much better I would say.
  • None of them. The current apps will run without any changes in Windows 10, there is no reason to think different
  • Well I'm just happy Windows 10 got Cortana, Spartan (actually am happy with IE11), and the what most non IT savvy Pioneers wants...the Start Menu. Looking forward for a new flagship W10 smartphone too.
  • kernel is basically the same. there probably won't be many apps that fail and those that do will work in compatability mode. i had only a couple minor apps fail when i switched from win 7. many apps fail because they look at the OS version number and not because they are truely not compatible.
  • Don't install! I'm a risk taker so I don't mind as I use my phone for work, not much playing with apps..... At the moment trivia crack.
  • If you're not interested then why even comment and why use windows phone at all? It amazes me how many people come into these forums to be negative. If you don't have anything positive to say then don't say anything at all! Your probably one of the reasons WP fans have a negative image!
  • Ok, see ya. Go buy an iPhone. No need for you to come back to this site then. The rest of us are all looking forward to what looked like an amazing upgrade.
  • @jeffro02: It's windows central now. Meaning open for all and even if it was wpc still, every body is allowed to be here.
  • Yeah, but why always negative? If you don't like something.... Windows included, don't use it and you won't have a comment at all.
  • Cool! I seriously need Cortana to mix my music when I say to instead of just resuming.. That's kinda annoying..
    .........
    Nevertheless, nothing, and no other WP device, matters except the 1520, and it's successor, after today's event... That's gonna make a lot of you mad.. Lol❗
  • Say shuffle my music
  • Hey! That works!..
    .......
    Well, the bi##h needs to get me a beer, then.
  • The new low end lumias were said to be Windows 10 ready but yeah to enjoy 10 at its peak, you're gonna need a 1520 or 930 lol
  • What's this "low end", is that how you say it?,, stuff you speak of❓ ..... You're speaking French to me.
  • @rodneyej : "Successor"? Of the 1520? I know of no..."successor" to the 1520. What do you know of this? Hmmmmmm? Hurry! I must haf answer!
  • Really, dude?... SMDH.... Successor meaning when one comes out.. As in if one is to come out, which is highly likely, at that point it will be the device that matters the most....
  • Will I'm a proud owner of a green Lumia 1520 : )
    I'm so glad I got this one instead of the others, but of they truly have a high end device I'll get it to!
  • My point is How WPC got this much clear cut pictures... While there is not in detail video by Joe Belfiore
  • Because they are having a demo there.
  • So we are sure to have a demo video
  • It's called a 1020... Although by now it should be a 1030... SMH..
  • Or a 1010, since its running Windows 10 lol.
  • Officially "Microsoft Lumia 1040"
  • Honesty, they may need to just use Lumia and surface differentiated by screen size, model and building materials. Get rid of the 530,535,630,635, etc.
  • Do you mean get rid of the naming scheme or get rid of those devices altogether? There's nothing wrong with the current selection of budget phones, Microsoft just needs to focus more on flagships and not budget phones all the time.
  • Yeah! So we are going to have the demo video soon right!
  • No.. Remember, Daniel said that no cameras were allowed.
  • Nice. Very much looking forward to dropping this onto my 1520 and 930.
  • Cortana already has a hamburger menu on the side so idk what's the big deal is. Idek what the big deal is with hamburger menu.
  • Some people don't like hamburger menus purely because iPhones and Androids have then. But they work and keep the UI from getting cluttered, so I don't mind them.
  • No, the reason why people don't like them is because they're in the upper left corner, where they are hard to reach on larger phones.
  • Make no m mention of Android our iPhone in here at such an epic moment in windows history... Only WIN 10, 10 ; )
  • Dudes, I don't care where the hamburger menu comes from but I freaking love it. It's super universal and it reminds me of hamburgers and I LOVE hamburgers. I'm having hamburgers today! Take this haters.
  • There's nothing really wrong with it. As long as Microsoft sticks with the Modern UI for the Start Screen I couldn't care less how any of the apps are tailored. The Modern UI is the only thing that differentiates Microsoft's UI from competitors'.
  • Hi Daniel, do you know if cortana will come in dutch (Belgium) ?
  • They could call it "Dutchtana"❓❓❓
  • :D 
  • Rodney.. What are you doing.. Rodney.. STAHP..
  • IDK
  • Password protection for apps ? Any update on this?
  • that would be awesome
  • Hope not
  • Confirmed me for Cortana in India?
  • Cortana is available in India as Alpha so it's confirmed it will be coming.
  • It's Cortana in final version or still in BETA
  • Hmm... I think its still in Beta.
  • It will be in BETA for many, many months to come. No matter if it reaches your region and begins to provide you with all her features, there will be many more regions on the list. And the only way to improve on Cortanas AI is to get more data. To give you a real world example, it took Siri a year for Apple to take out the 'BETA' tag
  • Later in February :-o
  • I like to call it gears. Hamburger. I mean really.
  • Hamburgers lol. I don't even know why I have Cortana on my main screen, don't do nowt, just 2 circles flickering.
  • It does show weather and news on the live tile.
  • Does it.. I thought Joe from MS it flickers because its listening. Don't get me wrong I've always been windows based, but since XP its gone down hill :(
  • Nah, 7 is better than XP.
  • 10 > {8.1;8;7;Vista}
  • Ok now is it available worldwide?
  • I doubt it. But you never know.
  • I am still waiting for Cortana in India and you are talking about windows 10..
  • Yep, waiting for denim and Cortana out of beta.
  • Cortana, like Siri, will probably be in a perpetual, forever beta. The services are still very new, you could hardly call them a finished product. Besides, why does it matter if Cortana's beta or not? Not like she's gimped in any way
  • Just change your region setting to US, if you are so desperate.
  • I'm so excited for both the next desktop Windows 10 and the phone version :)
  • Yep. Super excited! Can't wait to try out all the new features.
  • Slightly off topic, but any information on the new store app for phones? Haven't seen any information regarding it but its probably overhauled completely.
  • Its going amazingly
  • I actually liked the Cortana icon on the left where it was.. But then again Cortana will never be available in, Portugal so no need to complain. Oh well #firstworldproblems
  • if "Brazilian" works for you...it's coming....remember to hold you breath... [it's like Australian (or Irish) English...whichever you understand less ;-) ]
  • I can make do with Brazilian Portuguese wordflow, even though there are so many different words the core is similarly written. But speech is impossible without actually mimicking the accent and phrase construction style, I think it is farther apart from European Portuguese than Australian English is from British English, with the nuance that *all* the vowels are open as opposed to almost none, which makes it easier to recognize than Portuguese but impossible to use in a day to day life without sounding weird in from if your peers (since everyone understands it)
  • Excited to see what's new (:
  • Yeah how much longer is Cortana gonna be in BETA?
  • 3,5 years
  • I'm using 8.1.1 with Cyan in UK and my Cortana doesn't even use her voice. Yes, I already have volume turned up and I have reset too. I give up with it, another pointless feature.
  • I agree.
  • Hamburger for the win! :) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • If you have to head off our complaints about hamburger menus, that's good evidence that it's a generally unwelcome feature. So, basically, your "get used to it" really means "get used to this thing you don't want, 'cos yer stuck with it."
  • I've seen complaints about it's presence but what exactly is the big deal with the hamburger?  Why is it disliked?  Is it an anthetic thing? Is it a usability thing?  I really don't care one or the other if the hamburger is there or if there's some other method to access the features the hamburger gives you access to.
  • It's a waste of space in an OS that presents things as rows. The normal icon is three dots at the bottom, horizontally aligned like the rest of the OS, and saving space. Plus, the hamburger looks like you're copying (which they are).
  • Thanks for the explanation.  That was helpful.
  • Yesh! I like the nuggets more anyway!
  • It's not so much the button itself but its position. It's in the upper left of the screen where you can't reach it with one hand of you have a larger phone.
  • Beautiful
  • Im not sure I'm liking all these white screens. I think it looks better black, and it can save on battery
  • Yeah. Battery on my Lumia is shocking. Get longer on my android tablet.
  • I'm not saying battery is bad... My 830 could probably last a day and a half, and i think I use it a lot! Just not a fan of the bright white look, and what that could do to battery the more you use it. Amoled screen with the black background and colored tiles that popped on my old Samsung focus is why I fell in love with windows phone to begin with.
  • Agreed! Same can be said about the image of the WP10 start screen. I want to keep my solid black background and my wallpaper in the tiles!
  • HTC One for Windows proves that it's the LagDroid that eats the battery. Sent from my nice Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Urban Grey
  • Yeah that white screen looks crappy.  I hope that's a choice users can make.
  • What about other rumored features like otg support or wifi direct and many more. We want to know about those too :|
  • And have they fixed the find my phone bug. Phone can't be tracked once sim card is out.
  • Only two images?
    Come on Daniel, give us some more.
  • What is a hamburger menu?
  • The icon with horizontal lines... Looks vaguely hamburgerish. Just means it expands to a menu.
  • Thanks for answering. Do people not like it? I find them useful.
  • Yeah a lot of people don't like them because it doesn't follow the original Modern UI design. Hamburger menu was mostly only in Android and iOS apps before (and mobile websites).
  • Cortana works without GPS switched ON is windows 10 ?
  • At least internet (WiFi/3-4-5G) is demanded...Cortana lives on server clusters
  • What phone is that in these shots? It doesn't have a front cam..
  • Looks like a 920, and its just the image and way he took the picture. You can barely read Nokia at the top of the phone. Its not a new phone.
  • Pretty sure a combination of 1520 and the light conditions ​
  • Cortana already has a hamburger menu.
  • The top image reminds me of the "cards" that are used in google now.
  • I was hoping a new lumia would be announced~
  • It kind of was announced...in a way...briefly
  • Any news about Cortana available in more regions?? Mexico, Brazil for example...
  • Brazil is on the future list...
  • just Imagine Cortana with HoloLens and kinect....
  • I hope they removed the location requirement.. Please don't force location to be on in order to use Cortana, her usage rate will sky rocket and she'll truly be ubiquitous
  • Microsoft has finally listened to my user feedback
  • Keep developing MS. Curious to see what is changing on the outside specially home screen.
  • Finally been rooting for the microphone forever, why did this take sooo long
  • If the mic is placed there, where will the clipboard icon be placed ??
  • I love the voice dictation in any textbox!
  • Great!
  • Hey Daniel, do you think Cortana will come out of beta with Windows 10? I think the hamburger is coming to stay in Windows, and I'm starting to fear for the future of modern UI. Remember the outrage from the OneDrive update a coupla months ago
  • This now means Cortana is no longer exclusive to Lumia and W10 PCs, right?
  • Why? They haven't announced anything yet, regarding the expansion of Cortana to other platforms. At least afaik.
  • Since when has Cortana been Lumia exclusive.
  • Cortana lives on Microsoft servers....think that!
  • Yeah, I'm not sold on the blue and black on white background. I much prefer the current white on black background of WP8. I assume this is something that can be changed in the settings, but the fact that in all the screens I've seen for WIndows 10 and WP10, it appears that the blue on white background is the system default colour arrangement.
  • God damn Hamburger buttons ... :(
    Well well
  • That microphone needs to go on the right side.
  • i like the dark background better, but this is cool too, I guess.
  • I wonder if voice dictation will require location services to be enabled...
  • Any offline speech to text?
  • That would be really helpful.
  • Still all that focus on Cortana, even though she's still a feature that's of no relevance to half of all WP users... I'd rather they released a list with an estimated date of arrival, updated regularly; at least then we'd have an idea of whether it'll ever be a feature to look forward to.
  • Cortana dont even reach my country yet. So i dont need to wait anyway
  • I love windows 10 on every thing even my car  
  • Hey what's the phone in the article?
  • Guess hamburgers are taking over the app bar in Windows Design Language. The advantage of the previous design language is the app bar was at the bottom and easily reached, now we have to reach way up on the top corner to get to settings that could have been in the app bar on the bottom. Apple has this one because they can lower the screen at least, wonder if Microsoft is thinking about something or just gonna tell people to not be lazy and use their other hand to reach up, lol.
  • Finalllyyyyyy, a dictattion microphone for all apps!! now i dont care about having swift keyboard at all that was the only feature i missed when i switched from android to windows phone!!! Now just give us a brightness slider with the ability to make brightness much lower than now for night reading 
  • I didn't use it too much because it was buggy for me... Or my English was awful. Anyways, I was surprised this feature was missing. I too am glad the new OS will have it :D
  • Cortana beta for India?
  • Not surprised she will be changed
  • I'd love black background
  • I wonder if the requirement for the location service was removed. I understand Cortana needs it for a lot of tasks... But if is not on, we should still be able to search, receive reminders, schedule meetings, etc through Cortana.
  • About the app gap, I had a discussion with my mate about this, he has a windows phone too, he was always moaning about the lack of apps. I showed him how to check his history and since about week after wp7 was released he'd downloaded a staggering 150ish apps... That's not a lot... I asked what are you missing from the store? He had a good think and said I'm not sure.....
    For the vast majority of people there is more than enough apps in the store, people just want to be able to choose a crap app that has 1000 equally crap alternatives. Over the last year I've seen the quality of wp apps improve a lot, several big games and various other apps go free permanently and many other changes that I've been more than happy with, my only real gripe? The layout of the store, it needs a spring clean.
    And I'd like to get my bing picture back, since I got my 930 with Cortana I've missed it, and I don't want an app to get this, it should just be on the search button along with Cortana, if it is still there and I'm being blind don't hesitate to put me right....
  • Seems like the new OS looks nice on the white background.
  • I loved the new
    Windows "phone" UI. It's beautiful, simple and this hamburger menus are better for organization :D
  • What's hamburger?
  • Damn can't wait to get hands on with windows 10 to my lumia 520
  • I just want my Cortana to work in Singapore
  • Sorry but when did they say we will get it??
  • Would prefer the Cortana symbol to stay aligned to the left.
  • Is it just me or does Cortana suck on win10