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article imageMicrosoft's Cortana is now your personal DJ and cooking assistant

By James Walker     May 27, 2016 in Technology
As Windows 10's Anniversary Update begins to draw near, Microsoft is still adding new features to the Insider Preview builds. In the latest update, it added new interactions with Cortana, including the ability to turn Cortana into your own personal DJ.
Microsoft announced Windows 10 Insider Preview build 14352 yesterday. The main changes this time are to Cortana and Windows Ink Workspace. Work on major new features is beginning to wind up ahead of the public release of the Anniversary Update expected in July.
Cortana is now able to respond to voice commands such as "Hey Cortana, play [song name]" from anywhere in Windows, including on the lockscreen. The digital assistant can now search the entire Groove Music catalogue, provided you hold a Groove Music pass subscription, instead of just your local collection. You can also pause music or switch the currently playing track using voice commands.
Microsoft has added a heavily requested feature to Cortana, the ability to set a timer. You can now say "Hey Cortana, set a timer for 10 minutes" and the assistant will oblige, whether your PC is unlocked or not. You can also cancel the timer or query how long is left before it rings without having to move your mouse. It could be helpful while cooking or just taking a break.
Windows Ink Workspace has also seen some notable improvements. The Ink Workspace is a new interface in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update that makes it easier to use the OS with a pen connected.
Microsoft has updated the Sticky Notes app with new features. As previously announced, you can now scribble down an email address and have it instantly converted to a link to the Mail app. Writing down a phone number will let you call it straight away. Interactive checklists are automatically created from hastily penned bulleted notes.
Elsewhere, a new security feature helps to protect your PC against malware. Limited Periodic Scanning in Windows Defender is designed to run even if you use a third-party antivirus software to protect your PC. It occasionally scans your device using the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool without impacting the operation of other antivirus suites. Microsoft recommends it is left enabled for better security.
The remaining changes in this build are comparatively minor. The Xbox Game Bar now supports more fullscreen desktop games, the Feedback Hub app displays detailed responses to feedback direct from Microsoft engineers and the File Explorer app icon has been tweaked again in response to Insider feedback.
The changes help to make Windows 10 more adaptable to different forms of input, whether you choose to interact with your voice, a pen or the traditional mouse, keyboard and touch. All the new features will be delivered to consumers in the Anniversary Update later this summer, rolling up every Insider build released since November 2015.
More about Microsoft, Windows, windows 10, windows 10 anniversary update, redstone
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