For members of the Xbox One Preview Program receiving the October Xbox One Update today, looking through messages, switching to different apps and finding friends online is about to get a lot easier.
Microsoft shared details about the October Xbox One Update in a blog post on its Xbox Wire news site just last night, and confirmed that the update had begun going out to some members of the Xbox One community. To be frank, the update is massive.
For starters, Microsoft is extending the Snap menu to include quick access to essential Xbox Live apps that required users to go back to the console’s Start Screen before. Saying “Xbox, snap” now brings up a multitasking menu that puts the number of friends a user has online, messages waiting to be read and more, up instantly. Users can then deep dive into each app while still in their game or app of choice. In effect, the company has recreated the Guide that holds dozens of settings and quick access menus on the Xbox 360.
A new Friends section now lets users see which of their friends are online and how much Gamerscore they’ve racked up over the last month. Again, Microsoft is saving users from having to deep dive into the Friends app and giving the Xbox One Start Screen a bit more personality in the process.
Of course, the Xbox One is more than just a video game machine, and the October Xbox One Update reflects that. This update includes support for DLNA media streaming. DLNA streaming allows users to get videos, photos and music directly to their console from their smartphone, tablet or desktop with no wires. To be clear, this was already possible with Microsoft’s Play To technology, but more devices support DLNA by a wide margin. Support for MKV video files is included too.
This summer Microsoft revealed that it had plans to add trending functionality to the Xbox OneGuide. The idea was that users would be able to quickly find out what shows people are talking about on Twitter. That functionality is included in this update along with support for the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner and SmartGlass TV streaming support that relies on it. The Xbox One Digital TV Tuner and SmartGlass TV streaming won’t be available outside of Europe for now.
Little trinkets are sprinkled throughout the October Xbox One Update, OneGuide is coming to 12 new countries including Belgium, Chile, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and Russia. Internet TV apps are now supported too — even though there aren’t any available in the United States just yet. A new Devices and Accessories area allows users to update accessories and make each of their controllers vibrate for identification purposes. Finally, users can hide apps and games they don’t want to install on a per console basis.
The October Xbox One Update is only rolling out to members of the Xbox One Preview Program today. Presumably, it’ll come to all Xbox One users next month if Microsoft is satisfied with its performance on tester’s machines.