Xbox One's Cortana update arrives at last

The summer update also brings background music, convergence with Windows 10 and more.

After months upon months of delays, Cortana is finally ready for your Xbox One. Microsoft has started rolling out its promised summer update with Cortana's smarter, richer voice control as its centerpiece. You can use your headset or Kinect to search games, invite friends to play and otherwise accomplish tasks that required either stiff commands or (gasp) your gamepad. This also represents another step toward tighter integration of the Xbox and Windows 10 experiences, such as platform-independent party chat and streamlined shopping that lets you redeem Xbox credits.

Even the not-quite-headline-worthy updates are fairly substantial. You can play background music from supporting apps (Pandora is first) when a game's soundtrack just won't do. It's easier to sift through your game collection, and you can set your language independently of where you live -- handy if you've moved to another country. No, the software doesn't fulfill all of Microsoft's promised Xbox One changes for this year (you'll have to wait until September for Play Anywhere), but it's undoubtedly one of the biggest updates in a long while.