Microsoft has been pushing Cortana, its smart digital assistant, with its Windows 10 update, and we’re not sorry. While the tech company seems to be still experimenting with Cortana’s applications around the new OS, some additional features are already surfacing.
Starting this week, Windows Insiders is getting a new commitment option; you can already use Cortana to track your packages and remind you about your flight, and Commitments is similar to that.
Basically, Cortana can now make sure you keep your promises, as it picks up on emails like the time you agreed to a particular deadline for that work project. Microsoft’s Marcus Ash explained that the digital assistant will be on the lookout for emails where you promise to do something.
For example, if you send an email to a colleague with content that goes something like “I’ll get back to you by next Monday” or “I’ll have this finished by tomorrow night,” then Cortana will automatically create a reminder note.
Just like any other reminders that Cortana makes, the email scanning process is performed locally, which means your data doesn’t reach Microsoft’s servers until you confirm that you actually want that reminder to be added. If you think Cortana would be too nosy and should mind her own business, you can disable the email scanning feature.
Ash also explained that a lot of people use email to send themselves reminders – a lot, actually. Consequently, Microsoft equipped its digital assistant with the ability to scan the emails you send yourself with notes or useful links, and she will ask you if you want a reminder to go with that.
Don’t worry about annoying pop-up prompts; Microsoft is going about this feature in the same way it does with flight tracking. Cortana’s interface will be the only place where you’ll see these suggestions for reminders.
Microsoft is also changing the way Cortana manages calendar invites. The smart digital assistant will now notify you if you are invited to a meeting outside the regular times you usually schedule meetings.
This update is useful if you’re supposed to be in a 7AM meeting with your boss, so you know how to adjust your alarm and travel times the night before. The new features are limited to Windows 10 testers, but the tech company said it will roll them out universally soon.
The update will also reach Android and iOS users sometime in the future, after the Cortana service will be able to fully support new features across multiple platforms.
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