Background Music And Cortana Updates for August 2016

Background Music And Cortana Updates for August 2016

Team Xbox continues to listen to your feedback and work on the many suggestions you have made for improving our products. An additional 18 ideas with a combined total of over 41,000 votes are now marked as “Complete” on the site.

App Updates

  • Play Music from Apps Without Snap (Background Music)
    • The Xbox One Summer Update brought the ability of enabling Background Music on your console as new apps were released to support this feature. Groove, the Simple Background Music Player and Cast now all support the ability to play music or podcasts in the background on your Xbox One consoles. Additional apps will support this functionality as they either update their existing apps to be UWP applications or ship brand new apps via the store.
  • The Weather App is now available for Xbox One
    • You can now find the Weather app on the Xbox Store. Once installed, the Weather app will determine your location and allow you to set multiple locations for easy access.

Hardware Updates

  • Disable Xbox One Startup Sound
    • A recent Xbox One console update is now being released, where you will find a new option under Settings > Power mode & startup > Startup chime, which will allow you to set your preferences for the startup and shutdown chimes played through the internal speaker.
  • Xbox One Slim Edition with 1080p/4k support
    • Xbox One S when the 2TB launch edition becomes available on August 2 for $399. The update will also be ready for the 1TB and 500GB Xbox One S models later in the month, starting at $299.
  • 4K or UHD Video Support and 4K Blu-ray compatible X1 when the spec is finalized
    • The Xbox One S supports 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray™ and Streaming. With four times the resolution of standard HD, 4K Ultra HD delivers the clearest, most realistic video possible. Stream 4k content on Netflix and Amazon Video and watch Ultra HD Blu-ray movies in stunning visual fidelity with High Dynamic Range. For more information, please visit the Xbox One S page on

Cortana Features

Now that users have access to Cortana on their Xbox One consoles, let’s take a look at some of the new expanded functionality that Microsoft’s assistant brings to the Xbox experience! Here’s a list covering some of those feature requests:

  • Choose Between "Hey Cortana" and "Xbox..."
    • If you still prefer the two-syllable “Xbox…” commands, you can change back. Go to Settings > System > Cortana Settings, then under the heading “Cortana can give you suggestions, ideas, reminders, alerts, and more,” change the slider to “Off.” You’ll return to the “Xbox…” commands, and you can always turn Cortana back on later if you choose.
  • Regular Updates for Cortana, Cortana Talks Back and More Natural Commands
    • Cortana is regularly updated with new information as long as your Xbox One is connected to the internet; there is no action required!
  • More Kinect Commands and New Voice Commands
    • Cortana now allows for more natural language questions. There are plenty to try, such as “Hey Cortana, tell me a joke” or “Hey Cortana play Forza”. For a list of some of the things you can say, try “Hey Cortana what can I say?”
  • Kinect Noise Canceling Technology
    • The Kinect setup process includes listening for your home audio system so that any sound coming from your television is removed; this allows the Kinect sensor to clearly hear when you are interacting with Cortana. If you are having trouble with Cortana hearing you when your volume is turned up, try recalibrating your Kinect Sensor, under Settings > Kinect & devices > Kinect > Troubleshooting
  • Use the Actual Cortana Voice (Jen Taylor) for Cortana
    • Jen Taylor reprised her role as Cortana for the Cortana assistant on Xbox One and Windows 10.
  • Improved “Hey Cortana, Turn On!" voice command
    • Cortana now does a better job of understanding when you are using the Kinect sensor to turn the console on than the original “Xbox On” command.
  • English Voice Commands Regardless of the Current Region Language
    • The latest update allows users to choose English language voice commands separate from regions
  • Mute Kinect Mic (so others can't hear you)
    • You can now mute the Kinect microphone for game chat, just go to Settings > Kinect & Devices > Kinect, then uncheck the box for “Use Kinect microphone for chat.”
  • Kinect for text input (voice to text)
    • You can now use Cortana to send messages and Cortana will transcribe them! Just say “Hey Cortana, send a message to [Gamertag]” and Cortana will walk you through the steps.

Please continue to vote for your favorite features, and if you have a new idea, please enter it on the site after searching to ensure that the idea does not already exist.

As a reminder, as unique New Ideas meet our vote and policy criteria, they are moved to the appropriate Feature Area forum, where you can continue to vote and comment on them. For more information on how the Xbox Feedback site works, see this post.

The Clubs & LFG Forum Is Live!

Our newest Feature Area forum, Clubs & LFG, is now live! We've added a bunch of ideas that you can now vote on both in the Feature Area forum and in the Clubs & LFG category of theNew Ideas forum!

Go to the new Clubs & LFG forum and vote for your favorite ideas!

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