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Cortana update adds reminders for stuff you say you'll do in emails
In an upcoming Cortana app update, Microsoft will add a new way for the digital assistant to ensure you don’t forget about your commitments.
According to a post on the Microsoft blog, Cortana will now be able to automatically recognize when you agree to something time-sensitive in an email and suggest a reminder to help you follow through with it.
Once the feature is enabled, you won’t need to do anything to the Cortana app manually: it will use machine learning simply to recommend a reminder time based on the contents of the message.
Of course, this functionality presupposes that Cortana has complete access to the contents of your emails, which some of you may have no desire to allow (TechCrunch says that an email’s details will only reach Microsoft servers when you accept a reminder, if that helps).
Privacy matters aside, reminders that create themselves sounds like a useful addition — but whether Cortana can be relied on to consistently provide them is another matter.
Microsoft says the feature will roll out for Windows 10 machines first and will arrive to Android in the coming weeks. It will be compatible with Office 365 and Outlook, to begin with, but Microsoft said it’s working on integration with Gmail.
Cortana gets a fresh look
December 8, 2016: With the rollout of Cortana in the UK, Microsoft is also delivering a UI update to the Android app. The new “Quick Actions” menu houses a number of features that can be called upon with one tap of the finger, in case you don’t want to use voice control. These actions can be used to get the current weather forecast, latest meeting schedule, take a quick look at the news and more.
Cortana birthday reminders
November 25, 2016: Cortana has received a new feature which lets it automatically remind users of the upcoming birthdays of their contacts. The function works by allowing Cortana access to the Outlook Calendar — or other calendars as of version 1.9.12 — to pull data on future birthdays.