Perhaps it’s coincidence or maybe Windows users are getting a glimpse of the new update cycle for Microsoft apps, but today has been jammed packed with updates. Some Outlook previewers are receiving design and feature updates to the mail app. Windows 10 Mobile users on the latest Technical Preview are also receiving a small but worthy update to the layout and settings of the mobile app. Now, users of the Xbox app on Windows 10 as well as Xbox One console owners, will be receiving updates. If you happen to be using all three services on various devices as well as owning a Xbox One, you should be either excited about the new features or dreading the wait while everything updates. Either way, Microsoft has made this a very busy Thursday for some.
Larry Hryb or more commonly known as Xbox’s Major Nelson has offered up the details on the June updates for Xbox on Windows 10 as well as the updates coming to the Xbox One console.
Xbox on Windows 10
Game Hubs – For users of the Xbox app on Windows 10, the app now includes an update that brings the Games Hub to the app. The new hub is similar to the one found on the Xbox One console. In it, users can now view the same information they could have on their console while away from their console. Hub report includes a curated activity feed by the game (developers) community manager. Users will also be able to see and compare friends activities, achievements, and progress in the hub if they have played the same game.
Keyboard Shortcuts/ Game DVR – Another feature is the addition of keyboard shortcuts. This update is for PC users who want quick access to game DVR settings. With the keyboard shortcuts, a user can start and stop recordings as well as take screenshots with lightning speed. The keyboard shortcuts settings now adjust so that users can create user-unique combinations. Lastly, users can manage their cloud-based game clips from within the Xbox app.
Avatar App – Another neat addition is a tweak to the Avatar app. Presumably due to some feedback, the Xbox team has now baked in the ability to download and launch the Avatar app from within the Xbox app. No longer do Xbox users have to search their start menus or the Windows Store to just to start the app. In addition to making the app easier to start up, the Avatar app has added a new color picker. The new color picker pops up as a horizontal toolbar to color appropriate items. The placement of the toolbar allows the user to color things without having to jump back and forth between editing pages.
Friends – There are now new tools and options to manage friends in the new Xbox app. The new updates are now making the management of friends a bit easier today. Users can now click on friends profiles and will now find a ‘more’ option that opens a settings box. In the settings box, users can now select favorites, choose friends in the party, playing multiplayer games or broadcasting. Users can now also report or block people from the Xbox app itself. So if you forgot to block someone in the heat of battle, you could go back to the app to do it later.
Testing – The Xbox team is also asking for help and diagnostic feedback for the recently released streaming option of Xbox One to Xbox app. There are some settings in the Xbox app that allow users to opt into an anonymous diagnostic report. That diagnostics report is intended for the Xbox team, so they get a better understand of the streaming tech for the Xbox One and the Xbox app. “To do this, connect your Xbox One to your Windows 10 PC using the Xbox app: from the Connect menu, select your Xbox One console then choose Connect. Once connected, click on Test streaming to anonymously send the team diagnostic information about your PC and network settings,” according to the Xbox team.
Turn Off/On console – As mentioned before, users will able to connect to their Xbox One console and use the app to turn on/off the console. This feature can only be done when the two devices are on the same home network. So the idea of tricking your spouse into believing in ghost with remote on/off on the Xbox, may be a little harder to achieve.
The Xbox app received a lot of updates, but not to be outdone, the Xbox One console also received a couple of useful additions. The additions for the Xbox One console in June are small in comparison to other months, but that may be a result of the Xbox team getting ready for E3 announcements.
Xbox One Digital TV – The recently released Xbox One Digital TV tuner is now being released to 11 additional European countries. The Xbox team is looking to expand their preview audience in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland. Eventually, all users in these markets will get access to the tuner by late summer. The Xbox team is also working on refining the Miracast functionality with the Wireless Display app. The team is taking in lots of feedback, and it should become apparent soon, according to them.
The additions to the Xbox app are huge, but limited to the testers of Windows 10. For everyone else, hopefully, the Xbox team will have some more Xbox One focused updates to offer after some E3 announcements. Even though Phil Spencer gave a ‘post-summer’ time frame for the Windows 10 beta program, users can hope to start seeing some features from the new OS leak into preview builds for Xbox One.Further reading: Games, Major Nelson, Microsoft, Windows, Xbox One