Microsoft’s Xbox One update brings Cortana, background music

Microsoft is rolling out a large update to Xbox One, a patch that was detailed at their E3 2016 event in June. The update brings a variety of new features including its digital assistant Cortana, for players in the US and UK.

Cortana on the console has been made to look and function just like its Windows 10 counterpart, with most of the same questions working just fine. In addition, you can use Cortana to establish game parties, using either the Kinect or a headset with microphone. You can also ask Cortana to show you what your friends are playing, as well as a media player control. Keep in mind, the update replaces all your old Xbox commands with the more appropriate “Hey Cortana”, but your console will switch back to the old settings again if you disable the assistant.

Another addition in this update is the ability to play background music while gaming. Pandora is the first app with this support, letting you choose an ambient soundtrack as you play. There’s even a set of quick controls to change the volume or background track while in-game.

Microsoft is also officially merging its Xbox and Windows Store, so the update now opens up access to Windows 10 apps for the Xbox One. This early, there’s still only a few apps available, but more will become available in the coming months. This also ties in with Microsoft’s “Play Anywhere” feature launching soon, meaning some games will be playable on both the Xbox and PC, at no extra cost.

You can find the full list of updates here