Microsoft’s Cortana can now remind you to follow through on email promises
Microsoft’s assistant Cortana keeps getting smarter.
Cortana can now send reminders for tasks based on the contents of your inbox, Microsoft announced Monday. The company also added new features that make it easier to organize calendar appointments.
The new reminders feature means that Cortana will be able to remind you to followup on tasks you said you would do in emails. It comes via a collaboration with Microsoft Research, Microsoft’s Gabe Aul explains on Microsoft’s Windows blog.
“People often make promises to do things in email but may forget about them as the days go by and emails pile up,” Aul writes. “Microsoft Research (MSR) was pursuing an intriguing and powerful idea around this challenge—automatically recognizing when people make commitments to one another in email messages and providing reminders.”
If, for example, you send a coworker an email that you will send them a report by the end of the week, Cortana may surface a reminder of what you said and when you said it. Once you see a notification, you can also use Cortana to set a more specific reminder for the task.
Additionally, Microsoft also added new features that change how Cortana manages calendar appointments. The assistant will no provide contextual information about upcoming appointments and new invitations, based on your habits.
If you get an invitation for a meeting that’s later than normal, for instance, Cortana may ask if you want to reschedule. Or, if you get an invitation for a last-minute meeting, the assistant can notify you and ask if you want to set a special alarm for the event.
The new features are only Microsoft’s latest upgrades to Cortana, which was introduced to desktop users with Windows 10 last year. The desktop version of the assistant also allows you to hail an Uber and receive missed calls and text message notifications. The company also introduced standalone iOS and Android apps for Cortana that allows you to receive notifications from your phone on your Windows 10 PC.