When it announced the Xbox One last year, Microsoft made it clear that it planned to make significant changes to Xbox Live. As a new video reveals, many of those changes, which are coming in the Xbox One Update, will be familiar to anyone who has used Facebook in the last few years.
As details In a post on Xbox Wire too, Microsoft is trying to make the Xbox One and Xbox Live infinitely more social. It’s redesigning the Friends app that lets Xbox One users monitor what their family members and Xbox Live friends are doing.
Following this August Xbox One update, more types of activities will surface in the stream Friends app’s stream. When a friend records a clip inside a game Xbox Live users will now see that surfaced in the Friends app. Today Xbox Live only surfaces notifications in the Friends app when users earn ,an achievement or starting using a specific app.
Last month Microsoft added the ability for users to Like different things in their Activity Feed through the Xbox One Smartglass companion app. With the August Xbox One Update, Microsoft is adding the ability for Xbox One and Xbox Live users to like different posts in their Activity Feed. Xbox One users can now comment on posts in their Activity Feed. Users can also post text that’ll show up in other’s Activity Feed too.
What Microsoft seems to have lacked in imagination for the new Activity Feed features it more than makes up for in implementation. Everything is well-integrated, and all the social functions are pretty easy to find thanks to a half-window that takes over the screen when users select a specific item in their Activity Feed.
Microsoft is testing a separated Friends area that surfaces on the Xbox One Home Screen in this next Xbox One Update. This early version surfaces Game Activity, Leaderboards and a neat Live Tile in an area that sits between the Home panel and the Store panel. Microsoft says it’s only testing this new Friends area on Preview participants now. Eventually, it will roll out to all Xbox One users, but it may not be at the same time as it rolls out these other features.
These changes being introduced here aren’t all high-profile. Some of them are just common-sense, good-to-have add-ons that make owning an Xbox One a bit better. Starting with the August Xbox One Update, users don’t have to be on their console to purchase a game. Microsoft has added hooks into Xbox.com and Xbox One SmartGlass so that users can purchase games and downloadable content away from their console. Users who have low-power mode enabled will find that content they purchase on the go is available the next time they turn on their console.
A new low battery notification and option to disable notifications when watching video is also added to the Xbox One in this update. Blu-Ray player fans will find that the console now lets them play 3D Blu-Ray discs. Finally, Microsoft is launching the OneGuide for Xbox One owners in Brazil, Mexico, Austria and Ireland.
All told, the August Xbox One Update is one of the largest updates the Xbox One has seen yet. Microsoft wants users to know that it’s listening to feedback and continuing to address the issues that have cropped up. That Microsoft does this is very important. Earlier this week Microsoft announced that in June it sold double the amount of consoles it did in May. It still didn’t provide a solid sales number, but if it hopes to close the sales gap between the Xbox One and the PS4 it’ll need to keep impressing upon potential buyers how hard it’s working to deliver what they want.
The August Xbox One Update will start rolling out to members of the Xbox One Preview Program today. Presumably, it’ll roll out to other Xbox One users sometime in August.
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