Cortana will eventually be able to communicate with Universal Windows 10 apps on Xbox One

Cortana on Xbox
Cortana on Xbox

Beyond being restricted to the US and the UK, Cortana is missing quite a few of her signature features from Windows 10 PCs and phones. While she does have an exhaustive list of capabilities, she can't set reminders, yet, and she can't interact with other apps on the console. Thankfully, it looks as though that's set to change in the future.

In a conversation with Xbox's Cortana lead Zach Johnson, he confirmed that Microsoft's virtual assistant will eventually be able to hook into apps on Xbox One.

On Windows 10 PCs, you can use Cortana to call taxi cabs in Uber and send tweets in Tweetium, and soon that functionality could extend to UWP apps on your console.

I've mentioned in previous articles about how much potential Cortana has on the Xbox One when it comes to applications and services. Imagine an Insteon hub on your Xbox One, complete with a UWP app with Cortana integration. Cortana can already turn on your Xbox and your TV, but with UWP, soon she might be able to control your thermostat, connected lighting and who knows what else. The future of Xbox could be very interesting indeed.

See our list of Xbox One Cortana commands in the link below, and let us know in the comments what Cortana features you would like to see hit Xbox One!

How to use Cortana on Xbox One: command list, tips and more

Jez Corden
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for 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!

36 Comments
  • Hopefully it comes soon, any hint at when UWP apps can access the file system being able to take pictures without saving is pretty pointless in the camera app. once you can access the file system its lights out.
  • Did, you just have a stroke?
  • Use voice dictation, thought it committed me editing the comment, guess not, lol
  • Fixed, I laughed as I read your comment.
  • Twas funny, wasn't it.
  • Insteon is probably not a good example, seeing how it's support for Windows It's terrible and features have been broken for years.
  • Except they mostly fixed it a couple of weeks ago. Finally!
  • "Mostly fixed" a broken experience, I guess I should be thankful. Anyway, HD cameras still don't work.
  • Aye, hopefully that will change with Xbox in the mix.
  • I tried Insteon, but in general is was not very good. It had motion detectors, but it would not send notifications when they were tripped. You needed to open the app to see if it detected motion. So I use Canary. Their light bulbs were only white, and don't offer the same functionality as Philips Hue. Their locks don't fit all doors or you need a faceplate on the outside, so I use August locks. Their thermostats do not offer all the EcoBee does, so I use that. This is the one place that Apple has Microsoft beat, home automation with HomeKit. I have an Apple TV (which is an absolute pain since it randomly takes control of my tv) and an Amazon Echo to control my devices while at home, and an iPod touch to control while away. Microsoft once talked about how Insteon integrated with Windows, but it fell woefully short. I wish would push hard for IoT and home automation, but until they do, this is the one place where I use Apple to make things work. If they can get Xbox through Cortana working to allow me to control my home, allow me to use my PC to make changes while away, to sense when I walk into another room while wearing my Band and it turns on the lights, then they will win for me. This is something I have been playing with for a UWP I have been working on, and Xbox support will make it even better.
  • I still don't get why Cortana on PC is still cloud based and not 100% local using your PC resources and only allowed to access online resources to the extent the user allows. Most PC's especially if you have a high end gaming rig are more than capable of supporting Cortana AI locally and not having you data on Microsoft servers if you want to fully use Cortana. The worst part it people seem to be completely ok with having all their personal data on someone else's cloud, and don't seem to realize the benefots a true personal assistant has over one that is cloud based under someone else's control. Microsoft advertises Cortana as a true personal assistant/secretary, the problem is a real personal assistant is private while Cortana is far from that until Microsoft allows Cortana to be fully housed on a users PC, with users fully deciding what if any online resouces she can access.  
  • Go buy an iPhone use suri
  • So much of what you said is stupid. Out of all PC owners it's a small percentage that have a high end PC good enough to do it all locally, and anyone that did wouldn't want Cortana using up so much. I don't think you really understand cloud computing and it's purpose. As far as your personal information, you must not use anything but a pen and paper planner, because everything else is is on the internet for the host to see.
  • what does this terrible game have to do with Cortana?
  • Cortana is snapped in the picture. Also Overwatch is not terrible, that's just dishonest lol
  • 3 modes for $60 at launch, no single player isnt terrible? Blizzard knew it wasnt worth nearly that much thats why it was $40 on pc. people like to hate on titanfall and star wars battlefront even though both those games had like double or triple the content for the same price
  • If I said hey google at my S5 the Google Now Starts.And I think it's the same with Siri.But to use Cortana I have to press the button....but I have seen many comments about the Hey Cortana future.So how can I turn it on?(L640XL).
  • You can do "hey Cortana" with any device released in the last year
  • When you said any device you mean mobile or anything else like Bluetooth headset?
  • Mobile, PC, XBox... when he said "any device," that's accurate. If it's running Windows and supports Cortana and is not older tech, you don't have to touch anything. Not only does it not require a touch, it doesn't even need to be fully on (obviously needs power to listen). I turn on my XBox and TV with Cortana -- "Hey Cortana, turn on xbox." And, unlike the old XBox voice control, she's smart enough to understand any variation on the words, tone, etc. Turns on the XBox, Amp, and TV. Then I can tell her, "Hey Cortana, Watch SyFy" (or any other channel). No need to even find the remote.
  • The Lumia 640 doesn't support the passive listening, "Hey Cortana" feature. You'd need a higher end Lumia like the Lumia 950 or 950XL, 1520, or Icon to get that feature. The new HP Elite X3 may also support it at release as well.
  • It's a limitation of the processor/soc in the 640. S5 is a flagship with a much better SoC.
  • It's not a limitation of any processors, Hey Google works with any phone so why not Hey Cortana. Same with Android Pay is a phone has a NFC chip it has Android Pay, but not the same with Microsoft Pay. Continnium only works on high phone when clearly the 400soc can support it. I have a L640 and sad to say it looks like my last windows phone.
  • I just wish it was really one os across devices and apis were the same.
  • I get what you are saying, and the difference between what you are talking about and what I'm saying but at least the API is the same to the developer so as soon as they bring support it just works without code changes - Would be ideal if it worked right now I agree, but when it does come at least it won't require specific app updates (or shouldn't need)
  • I think that's the goal.
  • I know it's the goal but they sure go about it slowly
  • Hey Cortana im sick of saying come to canada. Dont bother coming now lol
  • I kind of wish the Xbox One's IR Blaster could have more than just On/Off programmed for handling a TV... I stopped watching TV long ago so all I'm using mine for now is for either the PC or the Console connected to it.
    Because of that using the Xbox One's HDMI Pass-Through feature isn't an option ( the LAG is unbearable when playing a PC Game ) so I constantly have to switch back and fourth between the two HDMI Ports and while the IR Blaster does turn on the TV when the console is being turned on it does not toggle the TV's HDMI input from the PC to Console. I also wouldn't mind for it to be able to IR Blast custom ( learnable ) commands tied to custom ( learnable ) Voice Commands. That would allow me to turn on my PC with it's built in IR Receiver for powering it on using the Console's Kinect Voice Commands:
    "Hey Cortana, turn on my PC" - Which would automatically turn on the PC, turn on the TV and switch it to the PC's HDMI Port.
    "Hey Cortana, toggle HDMI" - Toggles the TV's HDMI Input between PC and the Console.
    "Hey Cortana, turn off everything" - Turns off the PC, the TV and the Console.
    etc...
  • Mine changes to any channel I say by name (either name for cable channels "SyFY' or call sign for local networks "WBZ" or specify a channel number), adjusts volume, etc. But being able to learn other remotes and incorporate commands like a learning remote... that would be great. Sounds like a perfect third-party app when Cortana is avalible to UWP on XBox.
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  • piss off with the spam ota55723 !!
  • Such bullshit.  I can't believe this ****.  First voice commands are left out of the summer update on UWP apps and now they can't give us specifics when a feature will make it back into the product.
  • Jez why aren't folks like you more pissed about this?  Why are yall parading around like this isn't a problem?  Removing features from a product you paid for is unacceptable.  I bought the Xbox 1 because of what it could do when it first released.  Anything new would have been icing on the cake.  Now they take those features away by giving us what?  Social bullshit that most folks don't care about and everyone thinks thats okay.  How the hell am I the minority in this?
  • Am I the only one who thought we'd see more UWP apps on the Xbox One? Why the delay? Any developers care to explain?
  • I liked the idea of having cortana on xbox. But having used the insider builds when it came out and now the public update I had to turn it off. As a lazy person I like being able to say xbox on, or other such commands. Now I have to say hey cortana xbox on come on... why can't I just say hey cortana on. But the worst part is how absurdly slow cortana is on other commands. I'll turn cortana back on once there is no longer a delay and perhaps when we are allowed to rename cortana. to say hey xbox on. With so many people on windows 10 and now xbox w10. I dont need to have people on xbox live activating both my pc tablet phone and xbox with this universal voice input.