Late last night Microsoft, makers of the Xbox One, announced two new features the console so desperately needed that they’re likely to change adopters perception of the console and Xbox Live almost instantly. One new feature is the ability to send voice messages and the other involves dedicated servers to fix the disaster that was the Party app on Xbox One.
Microsoft announced part two of its April Xbox One Update in a post on its Major Nelson blog late last night. To be clear, the software update is rolling out to members of the Xbox Preview Program, just like the features that were announced earlier this month.
Beginning with this update, Xbox One owners can send voice messages recorded with their Kinect for Xbox One sensor or the Xbox One Chat Headset. Those on the receiving end of the voice message can listen whenever they’re ready, including on the Xbox 360. Presumably, we’ll see voice messages on Windows 10 PCs, the SmartGlass companion apps and Xbox.com too, but Microsoft hasn’t confirmed that. Anyone who has used the Xbox One controller to send a text message with the on-screen keyboard can testify to the importance of this new way to communicate.
The dedicated Party Chat servers in this update means that users with certain network configurations can finally use Party Chat reliably. Poor Party app experience has dogged the Xbox One sense launch. The What’s On area is finally coming to Xbox One consoles in the United Kingdom and Canada with this update. What’s On chronicles popular video on Xbox Live. It’s already available in the United States.
In theory, we should see the April Xbox One Update launch for Xbox One owners who aren’t members of the Xbox Preview Program sometime next month. Voice message recording and playback is built into the Messages app in this latest update.