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Category Archives: Dashboard and Apps

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.

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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

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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.

Xbox One preview program receives screenshot feature

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The long-awaited screenshot feature for Xbox One has been released in March’s preview program update (available now). Previously you could only share videos via message, your activity feed or twitter – now screenshots have been added it’s one less feature that the PS4 can boast over the Xbox One.

The update also sees the introduction of “suggested friends”, a list similar to what you might find on social media when looking for new people to add to your growing social network – the Xbox One activity feed is pretty much a version of twitter!

Here’s a list of what’s included in the update:

    Screenshots Suggested friends Sharing your name (additional options) Tile transparency (additional options) Privacy and online safety settings (additional options) Report spam OneGuide for Australia Xbox One Digital TV Tuner in Australia

Check out the full update notes here.

UPLOAD Studio update comes to Xbox One

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Major Nelson has announced on his blog that a new update to the UPLOAD Studio is being pushed out to all users on Xbox One. The update containing a whole host of new functions and features is aimed at improving the existing tool and has been compiled together from the feedback and requests of its community.

Some of the main changes that are included are the use of text overlays and voice overs. The ability to upload videos that contain up to 15 segments with a total running time of 30 minutes. Title cards, new effects, splash screens, intro’s and transition effects have also been added giving you everything you need to make your videos look professional.

If just the thought of this frightens you, then you will be pleased to know that also included in this update is a whole host of templates that can assist you in making your clips look just as good as the pro’s. The developers have even gone to the bother of creating certain templates for certain games.

Saving the best to last, the most interesting feature that has been added is the virtual green screen effect. All users that have a kinect system now have a virtual green screen. This allows us to take a shot of ourselves, remove the background and then drop us into our videos and clips.

Expect to see this free update appear over the next couple of days to all machines that have the UPLOAD Studio installed, but in the meantime if you want more information check out the video below where Major Nelson talks us through the changes.

I’m now off to take full advantage of this update and next time you see me I will be » Continue Reading.

NBA Live 15 to join EA Access free to play list

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If we can believe the image that was seen on the Xbox website it looks like the next title to join the EA Access free to play list will be NBA Live 15.  This will be the first update to the EA games vault since the end of last year when Need for Speed Rivals was added and will bring the total number of free to play titles up to 8 joining the likes of Battlefield 4, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, Peggle 2, Madden NFL 25 and FIFA 14.

Even though we are still awaiting the new addition to be officially announced by EA I’m guessing it wont be long now and with EA promising to add futher titles in the future we can only hope this is the start of a good year for EA Access users.

Activity feed comes to xbox.com

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Ok so we are all aware of the activity feed feature on the Xbox One. Well the people at Xbox.com have decided to include it now as part of your profile information when you log into the website. So now you have the option of tracking your friends achievements and memorable video moments even when you’re away from your Xbox.

This Activity Feed feature was already an existing part of the Xbox One Smartglass application on your smartphones and tablets but it’s nice to see all the platforms coming together and trying to be consistent. Maybe this has something to do with the big plans in the future to allow cross-platform gaming from Windows PC to Xbox.

Another feature that has just become available on Xbox.com is the Suggested Friends tab. This as it sounds – the tab gives you a selection of random gamers that seem at first glance to share some common interests with you. Whether this be playing or streaming a particular game or generally socialising the suggestions seem… somewhat interesting. Now to be honest I don’t know how used this option will be but I guess it’s a means for the guys and girls at Xbox to show we are a real community of gamers.

At the end of the day only time will tell if this is a good or a bad thing and you are the judges of that, but once again it’s nice to see Microsoft and the Xbox Teams focusing on all aspects of their service and not leaving anyone out in the cold.