Cortana reminders are in development for Xbox One

Cortana in Halo
Cortana in Halo (Image credit: Microsoft)

For those who don't know, if you are using Cortana on Windows 10 PCs or phones you can set a reminder using natural language. Simply by saying "Hey Cortana, remind me to pick up milk at 5 pm," Cortana will log the information in her notebook, and then give you an alert on your PC or your phone based on the trigger conditions you set. You can add conditions based on location, time, and even when someone calls you.

Sadly, Cortana on Xbox One doesn't support reminders yet, but that's set to change.

In an exchange with Zach Johnson who leads Cortana's development on Xbox One, he noted that reminders are on the backlog for the console version, and work has begun to bring them across.

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There's no planned release date as of yet, but it's encouraging to see Cortana could reach parity across the entire Windows 10 device family sooner rather than later.

Cortana has enormous potential on Xbox One when combined with the Universal Windows Platform. Soon you might be able to call an Uber cab directly using Cortana from your Xbox, rather than interrupting your game to reach for a phone or laptop. Cortana could also tie into home automation services like Insteon, powering smart bulbs and other IoT devices.

Stay tuned to Windows Central for all the latest on Windows 10 development for Xbox One!

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • Like InsteON......what do u know...... How great would an insteon scene that is activated by Cortana but also controls Xbox be.. example. "hey Cortana its movie time". And boom vudu launches with HDR and 4k support and the lights dim or a bias light turns on. .h..oh the possibilities. Of course first wed need a vudu uwp and Cortana would need a universal media search feature... did I say future....
  • Huge potential! Lots of dev still needed though.
  • She still won't tell me how big her honkers are!
  • Gee, can't wait to be in the middle of a game and have Cortana pop up and bug me
  • To turn the stove off
  • Isn't that the point of a reminder?
  • Your describing precisely what I want. So I get reminded of the things I'll doubtless forget whilst 'busy' gaming
  • Future Tome Westrick:  Gee, why can't MS make cortana do things like reminders...One Windows my ass
  • She can remind me on my phone all she wants, and I'll check it later. I don't need or want all the same notifications going to every single Windows 10 device at once.
  • Notifications is one thing, which they will probably have a toggle because of privacy issues with Xbox being center of the not-so private living room and the phone being a personal/private hub, but REMINDERS?! I really don't think you get the point of reminders... like CONDITIONAL reminders with the PARAMETERS being set by YOU!
  •   Yeah. Think of how much of a moment killer that'd be. You're really immeresed in a game or movie, and you get this really annoying popup about something trivial. Yes, I understand that I'm the one setting the reminder, but if it's something to the effect of "pay my water bill" (which is what most of my reminders pertain to), Cortana just broke my focus from my game/movie/etc with an annoying popup for something that can wait an hour.
  • so much drama...
  • You must absolutely lose it whenever you earn an achievement, or get a message, or a friend logs in...
  • I've concluded that either a: he doesn't have responsibilities or b: he doesn't understand the difference between a notification and a reminder.
  • Achievements tend to happen in context of whatever is happening in the game - for example, completing a campaign level or winning a certain amount of multiplayer games. So it's not that much of a disruption. A friend logging in doesn't necessarily require action, and the messages I get are either a friend asking me to join a party (which is a quick action to do), or the standard "eff your mother" type messages. So, none of these are as much of a distraction as a reminder or other notification from Cortana. 
  • Okay so... that's says it. You're doing it wrong. Quite ass backwards, actually. Pay my bills should be a repeat event on your calendar not Cortana trigger set reminders for when you want her to do something you told her to do but don't actually want her to do it.
    You clearly don't know the difference judging from your usage pattern.
    You set reminders to be responsible. Why would a "killer moment " on a video game or movie be more of a priority to you?
    Bruh. Are you being a troll or serious?
    How old are you?
    Would you be considered or consider yourself socially awkward?
    Serious questions. I'm honestly curious.
  • I get paid on the last day of the month, and rent is due on the last of the month. Since the last day of the month could be either the 30th or 31st, a monthly reminder doesn't quite work. I check my bank account on the last day, then set a "pay rent when I get home" type reminder.  As for the rest of your comment, here's how my day has been so far. Keep in mind it's a weekend, so this doesn't factor in my day job: 0600: woke up to my alarm, started working on homework. My homework included building an Access database and creating a five minute animation in Alice 3. I also published an article I wrote. I'd call getting my homework done on time "responsible." 0800: met a friend for breakfast. This morphed into a short "business" meeting, when I noticed the manager of the cafe was working while we were there. We had a five minute conversation about me playing music at the restaurant next weekend, then I went back to catching up with my friend. Throw this one in the "social" and "responsible" categories.  1030: Got home from breakfast, played multiplayer matches of Halo 5.  1115: Met a friend at the theater to see Suicide Squad. I'd call that "social." That's my day so far since I just got home from the theater. I'm about to go to the grocery store, then when I get home I'm going to cook my meals for the week.  I hold a full time job, I'm taking 18 credit hours worth of courses every two months, I pay my bills on time, and I make time to be with my friends and family. I also enjoy relaxing for a few hours with a game. When I AM gaming, I don't need trivial stuff that can wait an hour or two interrrupting me.  And while Microsoft works on getting Cortana, Maps, Word and a bunch of crap no one asked for working on their gaming machine, controller connection isn't anywhere near as stable as it was before the last big update in November. 
  • I think a new feature with Anniversary is that notifications that are accepted or interacted with on one device then are not displayed on others, rather than how it was before that the notification would repeat on all devices.  I expect it is or will be configurable what notifications are displayed on specific devices, though I'm not very familar with how far along they are yet with the feature set... whatever the case currently, I'm sure that is on the roadmap, or at least, it should be possible to disable all notifications per device with "Quiet Hours".
  • Can't see it being any more intrusive than during PC gaming.
  • Are you implying that you would have a problem with Cortana reminding you about something you asked her to remind you about when you asked to be reminded because you'd be busy doing something else, in this case, gaming, and don't want to be reminded?
  • Honestly, yes. Let me zone out for an hour or so, and I'll get back to my to do list when I'm done.
  • Okay. Thanks for confirming. This issue isn't with Cortana. Its with you. Unless you missed the, "...remind you when you asked to be reminded" bit? Or maybe you're just not wise enough to know how reminders work and only set them when its suitable for you, which should go without saying but hey it's illegal to drop a moose from a helicopter in Maine, so i'll say this; You should not ask her to remind you about something when you don't want to be reminded. #whenbeingresponsiblegoeswrong
    #hownottofollowdirections Lol omg! I've resorted to using hashtags on windows central. The mental distress ignorance can make you go through...
  • See another reply above. I can set a reminder for 5 PM without needing to address it right at 5 PM. And again, wouldn't I get a notification on my other devices already? I can play my game, hear the notification, continue gaming, and check my phone or PC when the game is over. I don't want to be in the middle of a firefight in Halo and have something popup.
  • That's not a issue with reminders. That's you having an issue with notifications. You're not intellectually distinct enough to notice the difference? (Seriously asking.)
  • It would be nice if someone focused on letting the rest of the world get Cortana first
  • All I want to know is when Cortana for Android will be in the UK so I can actually use it on my pc and my phone
  • I'm thinking the same thing, had to ditch WM due to it not working with my NAS .....
  • I paid $4000 an hour for cortana Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Tasteless
  • If they just stop doing this and focusing on getting Cortana to the rest of the world that would be nice
  • Cortana is region unlocked with the anniversary update. Just not in all languages and just not with all features.
    Fellow dutchman.
  • Does this work on mobile too? I did do this on my desktop and laptop PC's, but it doesn't seem to work on my lumia 1520.
  • Different teams do different things.
  • You act like one person is working on Cortana.
  • Didn't you know? EVERYONE should be working on localisation! Never mind this team only knows English, get them doing translations on the double! :V
  • When did the Dutch go from speaking great English to whining about things not being available in Dutch? Did I miss a memo?
  • I have a real and growing Cortana problem in my house. Over the past few years I've grown my Microsoft collection to a Lumia 950 and 1520, Surface Pro 3 & 4 and an Xbox every time I say Hey Cortana my house lights up like a digital chorus. It wouldn't be so bad if they we're all in sync, but they go off a half second or so later.......
  • I second this! It would be a great feature for Cortana to be aware of multiple instances and to deal with that properly!
  • Must be a real digital chorus if you follow with "Sing me a song" =P
  • Lol....hey, maybe I should try an experiment....ask Cortana to sing me a song and see if they all sing the same tune....
  • OneGuide reminders too?
  • That's what i want too!!
  • Can we have an article on the massively increased start up time from a cold start for the Xbox after the anniversary update? Or am I the only one who noticed. Wouldn't mind be credited with bringing up the issue either ...just saying
  • I haven't noticed any difference over here, I use cold start. I'm on the Preview build though, which is a couple of builds ahead of public I think.
  • I'm not on the preview program with my Xbox one (not S) and it takes a ridiculous amount of time compared to pre-anniversary update.
  • So I just timed it. It takes mind ~ 1:17.64 which is way longer than it used to. I find it a little on the ridiculous side. Would you mine timing yours for a comparison to the preview build?
  • Almost exactly 60 seconds here, about the same I think. I don't have much content installed on this Xbox though, maybe that's why?
  • Still don't understand why we don't have live tiles on Xbox yet.
  • Does "no release vehicle" mean there's no Outlook Calendar on Xbox YET? ie, Calendar is coming? If so, great. Or, does "no release vehicle" mean that there's no game or other app on Xbox yet that ties into Cortana reminders?
  • This is slightly off topic.  But owning a Win Phone, a Surface and an Xbox, all in the a relatively modest sized home, it is starting to be pretty irritating to say "Hey Cortana" and all 3 ask how she can help.  When if ever can we personalize Cortana's name?  It's lind of silly stuff my phone into the couch cushions when talking to Xbox Cortana, etc.