Alongside a slate of announcements made this morning, Microsoft has launched a new text-to-speech feature for Cortana in the Outlook app for iOS devices. With this feature, called “Play My Emails,” the Outlook app uses Cortana’s natural language interactions and AI to read out your latest emails.
Microsoft is aiming this feature at users who want to catch up on their inboxes while doing something else, like driving or working at their desks. Cortana starts by summarizing how many emails are new in the user’s Focused Inbox in the last 24 hours, and if there have been any changes to their upcoming daily schedule, thanks to integration with Outlook’s calendar.
Cortana also uses Microsoft Graph to identity the sender of each email in relationship to the user, so it’s easier to know the context of the message without looking at the screen. Because of these abilities and more, Microsoft said that Play My Emails is more than just a text-to-speech update, but a way to have a natural conversation with Cortana.
Cortana synthesizes the information in the message header and meta data and marries it with the insights about you and information from apps and services that power Office 365. This provides a more meaningful and contextual readout.
The Play My Emails experience is like having a conversation with your personal assistant.
Play My Emails is launching today to customers in the United States for the Outlook app on iOS devices, and later it will launch on Android.