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Category Archives: Dashboard and Apps

SmartGlass and Windows 10 updates heading to Preview members

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There’s some exciting new features heading to the Xbox One dashboard, which as usual, will be distributed first to Xbox Preview program members. There’s additions to the dashboard, the Windows 10 Xbox app and SmartGlass.

Xbox on Windows 10

    Game DVR for PC game Screenshots Live Tiles Avatar app User profile Real name sharing Xbox One Now Playing and media controls Live TV streaming and PIP (picture in picture) support Xbox controller drivers

Xbox One and SmartGlass updates

    Over-the-air TV for the U.S. and Canada Power on and off from Xbox One SmartGlass Wireless Display app User-selectable power mode Voice messages

For more information on the new features check out Xbox Wire.

Xbox 360 Preview Program brings 2TB external drive support

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With all the hype around the Xbox One people might have thought that the trusty Xbox 360 has been forgotten.  Fear not though as the Xbox 360 Preview Program has just rolled out a nice little update to its preview members to help compete with its bigger brother.

Microsoft has announced that Xbox 360 Preview Program members can now support 2TB hard drives on their consoles and whats more it will also support two external drives at a time.

Microsoft’s Major Nelson stated on hos blog that this is one of the most requested features from the Xbox 360 community.

“In addition we will also no longer reserve space in advance on your hard drive,” Microsoft said. “If you are using 16GB of hard drive space for games – we will only take 16GB of space. And just like today – you will be able to use two external drives at a time.”

As of yet there is no information on when the update will be available for the public, but it’s confirmed later in the year is most likely.

However Major Nelson also stated that some drives may give performance issues or be incompatible and if you already had space allocated to Xbox 360 data then you would need to clear this first before you could use the drive.

Good news for Xbox 360 owners then, as for one I always found I was running out of space.  So what do you think and what else would you like the 360 preview program to deliver?

April system update available now for Xbox One

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Ah April, the month of chocolate egg goodness… and of course a new Xbox One system update! So what’s included in the new update? Party chat improvements, Game hub links, Achievement notifications and a What’s On area. check out the video below for a rundown of the features or visit Major Nelson’s blog for more information.

Late last month, voice messaging and dedicated party chat servers arrived for those on the preview program as a bonus update. For now, these features are being held while Microsoft fine tune them – hopefully they will be part of next month’s update.

Bonus Xbox One April update rolling out for preview members

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Over the weekend I noticed that a new tab had appeared on my Xbox One dashboard – What’s On – which had a variety of video content from YouTube and Twitch to the most popular on Xbox Video. Turns out it’s an update to the April dashboard update, which has started to roll out to members on the program.

Previously the update had introduced new game hub features and detailed achievement notification that now explain how you unlocked the achievement – as a bonus, there’s three new feature rolling out as part of the April preview, the best being voice messages.

    Voice messages – which can also be exchanged between Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Dedicated servers for party chat What’s On tab

Check out Xbox Wire for full details.

Rosetta Stone app coming to Xbox One

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The well-known language learning software Rosetta Stone has announced that its app is coming to the Xbox One

The company website states;

Rosetta Stone’s new application teaches English and Spanish by way of immersive simulation. Virtual travel experiences teach you the vocabulary and grammar necessary for real-world interactions. So before you book a flight to a foreign destination, grab your controller. You’ll explore several locations in the Discovery Zone and chat with the characters you find there. In the Training Zone, you’ll solidify the concepts you encountered with study recommendations, cultural tips, phrase books, and of course, more games! Keep track of your achievements, and keep practicing until you get a perfect score. With Rosetta Stone’s proven technology-based immersion method in a video-game interface, who knew language learning could be so fun.

So at the moment Spanish is the way forward but I’m guessing if the application is successful then more languages will be added. Who knows this could mean the end to all subtitles in games like Battlefield and Call of Duty.

Háganos saber lo que piensas?

April System update preview now available

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If you are part of the Xbox Preview Program on the Xbox One, then you’ll be pleased to know that April’s preview is now available to download.

The first set of features announced are below and there are more to come in a second wave next week.

Party chat improvements – Party chat is being improved with troubleshooting guidance for Xbox One owners. The Party App will help you get your microphone enabled and show you when privacy settings or networking issues are blocking communication with particular party members.

Game hub links – Members can more easily discover game hub content from activity feed items. You’ll see activity feed items when any of your friends follow a game, and you’ll also be able to get back to a game’s hub from activity feed posts related to the game – including feed items about the game’s achievements, game clips and screenshots.  

Achievement notifications – With this preview release, you’ll also see the achievement’s description in the notification so you know what you did to earn this achievement without having to open the achievements app. If you do choose to open up the notification to see the achievement details, we’ve also made some performance improvements to make loading the achievements app from a notification faster.

Xbox Music: OneDrive Integration now available

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It was announced this week that Xbox Music has integrated with OneDrive to allow access to your entire personal music collection from your Xbox Music application for free!  Any music files that you upload to your new “Music” folder in OneDrive will start to show up in your collection on music.xbox.com and in the Xbox Music apps for Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.1, Xbox 360, and Xbox One and you don’t even need an Xbox Music Pass. If you do have a music pass, you’ll get an extra 100GB of storage on your OneDrive.

There is more information on the Integration here – I don’t have a music pass but will certainly be checking this out. We’d love to hear your thoughts on how it works if you do.

SMITE Alpha comes to Xbox preview members

SMITE

If you’re participating in the Xbox Preview program and happen to be one of the lucky ones then today you might be in for a pleasant surprise. Xbox are issuing out SMITE Alpha codes to a select few inviting them to take part in early testing of the game.

SMITE is the online battleground of the gods. Players choose from a diverse cast of deities and use their unique powers to triumph over the opposition in 5v5 team matches. Smite is a new take on the MOBA genre; rather than observing from above the action, the game’s third person perspective puts players into the thick of combat.

This is the second time this week that the preview program has offered something a little extra to its users. So keep an eye on your inbox and pray to the gods that you might be one of the chosen few.

Xbox One Preview program brings profile matchmaking to its members

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Like most people I woke up this morning to see I had a new mail from Xbox Live in my inbox. Thinking it was the normal preview program update, I was surprised to see an invite to use Overdog.

Now honestly I had no idea what Overdog was, so a quick search revealed a gaming profile matching service that lets you game with people who have similar interests as you.

You start by defining you profile, specifying likes in sport, games, music, films etc and then Overdog does it magic by recommending people it believes you would like to play with, based on these interest.

This to me sounds very similar to the suggested friends menu that was released recently on the Xbox Profile dashboard and website, and perhaps the two will be linked in the future. The cynical side of me see this as a perfect opportunity for Microsoft to gain our likes and dislikes and use this to undertake in-game advertising.

Anyhow my verdict is open, and over the coming days I will use Overdog to its full extent allowing me to come back with a more defined opinion, so watch this space.

In the meantime you can find more information on Overdog here.

Preview program comes to Xbox 360

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Available now, select invitees will be able to join the Xbox 360 Preview program. This will work much like the Xbox One version – and selected customers will be able to sign-up directly from their Xbox 360. So keep your eyes open for a special Xbox Live message inviting you, then head to Settings, then account then under account management you’ll see Xbox 360 Preview Registration. Sign up there and enroll your console. This is just for registration so you won’t actually see any changes yet you will just be enrolled in the program.

Xbox promises to address common customer issues including improving the ability to troubleshoot common network issues from the 360 and a Network Connectivity test.

There will be even more changes coming later in the year so sign up to be part of the new Xbox 360 Preview Program and have your voice heard.