Yes, just when you thought it was safe to come out of hiding with your questions about Microsoft’s entertainment ecosystem comes the January edition of Ask enConnected, our monthly question and answer session.
Since our last Ask enConnected Microsoft released another version of its Windows 10 operating system for testers and the Xbox One has continued to evolve. We’ve got questions about both topics included in this edition, along with a one more that was personally sent to me on Twitter. If you have a question send an email to theteam[at]enConnected.com or contact us on Twitter, Facebook. We’re always here for you.
How and Why to Update the Xbox One Controller
Q. Recently, Microsoft sent out an update to the Xbox One controller. How do I get the software update and why do I need it?
A. To be clear, what Microsoft is getting out to users is a firmware update. I feel like calling it a software update will have people expecting no features or something. Literally, the only thing this firmware update for the Xbox One controller is chop the connection times in half. I in no way mean to diminish the significance of that, somewhere there’s an engineer at Microsoft who earned their paycheck with this upgrade.
To update the Xbox One controller you’ll need a microUSB cable to plug directly into your Xbox One. You’ll also need the controller itself. Connect it to the side USB port on your Xbox One and head into the Devices area in your Xbox Settings app. If there’s a controller update you’ll be able to update. For right now, the controller update you’re referring to is specific to the Xbox One Preview Program for right now. It’ll roll out as the February Xbox One Update in the next few weeks, most likely.
How to Listen to Podcasts on the Xbox One
Q. There’s no podcast app on the Xbox One. You say you listen to podcasts on the Xbox One on Twitter? How are you doing that?
A. Thanks for following me on Twitter. I apologize for wrecking your social media accounts with my presence. I listen to podcasts on the Xbox One with the Pocket Casts web app. It’s definitely not free, I paid and it still costs $9.99. It works beautifully on Windows 8 – and to your point – on the Xbox One with Internet Explorer.
If you’re into podcasts, it’s a terrific investment. There are app versions available on the iPhone and Android too. Windows Phone doesn’t have a version yet, but the web app works just fine there too and Windows Phone 8.1 added the ability for Internet Explorer to keep playing media even when the device is locked. There’s a 14-day free trial of the Pocket Cats app available from developer Shifty Jelly.
Holding the Kinect on Your TV
Q. I’m interested in placement for my Kinect. If I move it on top of my TV can the Xbox One still see me? Anything you recommend?
A. First it sounds like you are having trouble getting your Xbox One to see everything in your room. Maybe you’re trying to play a motion game like Kinect Sports Rivals or you just want to play a game. If you move the Kinect up higher and tilt its neck downward it should be able to see move of the space around it. To do that, I recommend a Kinect TV mount if you have the spare cash.
I’d say go with the Kinect Sensor TV Mount Clip made by Pythos. It’s available from Amazon for $6.97. There’s also the PDP Kinect TV Mount that sells for $19.70 at Amazon and just about every retailer. I have that one personally, I’m not necessarily a fan of the way it looks. It does work flawlessly though. Full disclosure, both of those are Amazon affiliate links, and buying with those links gets us a little something in terms of revenue.
What’s Up with Windows 10
Q. How do you like Windows 10?
A. For some reason, I wasn’t expecting to get this question so soon. A lot of the tech press know everything there is to know about Windows 10, but I hadn’t realized it was starting to filter out to normal people.
I can’t say that I’m in love with Windows 10. I can say that I think it is an acceptable comprise between giving Windows notebook users what they need – the desktop – and tablet users what the liked about Windows 8. In particular, I’m a fan of the new Taskbar being included in the touch interface. I also like the idea of switching in and out of tablet mode automatically. If you guys are really interested I could roll out more Windows 10 related content. There’s an Xbox One app that’ll allow game stream and more.
Thanks for all of your questions everyone!