Cortana for Windows devices is a useful service, providing at a glance daily planer functionality and other useful features.
However, Cortana for Windows phones has always had two barriers to use for many users. First of all, it is limited to only 13 countries (EU5, USA, China, Japan, Canada, Brazil, Australia, India and Mexico) for the moment. Secondly, the app fails to run it the user disables location services on the device.
Now, in the latest Windows 10 Anniversary Update, a reddit user spotted an indication that at least one of the two restrictions may be on the way to being dropped.
In the latest fast ring Insider Build, it was noted here that shutting off location would no longer disable Cortana as it used to before.
Rather, the virtual assistant would continue to work as before, albeit with limited directional capabilities. This is good for users who would what to conserve their battery life by cutting off location yet still want the convenience of using Cortana.
We have been able to confirm this on our devices as well. We are not sure if this a bug inherent to 14322, or a new direction Microsoft is heading in to enable Cortana for more people. Nevertheless, it demonstrates that Cortana is capable of working without access to location services, making it easier to submit feedback asking for the removal of that barrier.