Microsoft recently revealed that over a hundred new features and improvements were added to the Xbox One and Xbox One SmartGlass through 10 consecutive system updates within the 2014 year. These improvements included a low battery indicator, the ability to initiate game downloads from a remote location, turn off notifications during video playback, external storage, and many more.
Now, as the year comes to a close, Microsoft has rolled out the last major update for the 2014 year. Microsoft has already stated that system updates will continue in 2015, but the month of November will be the final month in 2014 to receive a major system update.
In the November update (which is rolling out right now), Microsoft has added several top fan-requested features. These include the ability to customize the background on your Xbox One, show off your top achievements and share game clips in new ways. Here is the change log:
- Custom Backgrounds – For the first time, each account on your Xbox One can have a customized background. You can choose a custom color as a theme or achievement art as your background image and those will show on any Xbox One that you Sign In on with your account. Additionally, you can use the Media Player app to pick any JPG or PNG image off of a USB attached drive or a home media server that supports DLNA. While viewing a picture/photo in full screen mode, press the Menu button and choose “Set as background” – your custom image is stored locally on that Xbox One console.
- Gamer Profile – You can now share your location and bio as part of your profile. You can set these options on your Xbox One console and use Xbox One SmartGlass to browse to other people’s profiles and check out their showcase items. Additionally, you can now select a set of showcase items that are displayed when other gamers look at your profile on an Xbox One console. You can use Xbox One SmartGlass or Xbox One console to add or remove up to six game clips or achievements that will be displayed in a carousel format.
- Tweet about your Favorite Game Clips – You can now share your favorite Xbox One game clips with your followers on Twitter. Use the Share button on any game clip you have created and select Twitter to compose the Tweet.
On top of that, Microsoft has also improved the way you watch TV on your Xbox One. You can discover new shows and see what people are saying about them in real-time with new Live TV and Twitter integration. Here is the full change log:
- Live TV Trending – Xbox One owners in the U.S., Canada and the UK, will see a new “Trending” tab in OneGuide that displays the top 20 most watched TV shows, with the list filtered down to the shows that are currently available to you based on your OneGuide settings. The Live TV on Xbox trending list is updated by the minute, so you can easily discover shows that are popular with other viewers.
- Twitter TV Trending – Additionally, if you are in the U.S., you’ll see what Live TV is trending based on the highest number of tweets. The Trending tab in OneGuide is updated to display Live TV on Twitter first and Live TV on Xbox trending second. You can tune to a specific show from either trending list by pressing the A button.
- Tweets in MiniGuide – Also, initially available in the U.S., you will see the actual tweets for the Live TV shows in real time and quickly find the Twitter #hashtag to join the conversation.
- Recents and Favorites in MiniGuide – MiniGuide has been updated to include your favorite TV channels in a combined Recents and Favorites area and MiniGuide can now be activated via voice by saying “Xbox Select – MiniGuide” while watching TV.
Store has also been improved, along with the SmartGlass app. Here are the new improvements:
- Xbox One Store improvements – The Store pages on Xbox One have been improved to enable you to more quickly browse and find content. The navigation buttons are moved to the far left so you can find them easier. You can also more quickly find game add-ons, perform store specific searches and recommendations are more prominently displayed. Finally, store categories have been standardized so you can easily see the top items in each query at a glance.
- Friends’ Game Activity on SmartGlass – You can now see a list of your friends that have played a given game within the Xbox One SmartGlass experience.
- Games with Gold & Deals with Gold on SmartGlass – For gamers with an Xbox Live Gold subscription, you can browse “Free Games with Gold” and discounted content with Gold and initiate download of the content to your Xbox One console from your mobile device.
- SmartGlass Store Improvements – We added a new section for Apps to make it easier to find and download apps for your Xbox One, as well as adding a Coming Soon filter for Games and Add-ons to make it easier to see upcoming Xbox One releases sorted by anticipated release date.
Microsoft has also added various other gamer requested improvements:
- Snap IE – From the Address Bar in Internet Explorer, you can now easily snap from a full screen experience and move Internet Explorer into snap mode.
- IE Featured sites – Now, Internet Explorer will show a number when something is newly-added to featured sites. Newly-added sites will also display a badge (denoted by an asterisk (*) in the upper right corner) until you launch them or seven days have passed since the site was added to the Featured list.
- Restart now – If you want to restart your Xbox One console without getting out of your chair, you can now do it by going to “Power & startup” and choosing “Restart now.”