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Category Archives: Dashboard and Apps

Say farewell to Xbox Music

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If you happen to have a copy of Windows 10 then you might have noticed a link to “Groove Music”. Clicking on this link though surprisingly takes you to the existing Xbox Music app. After lots of questions Microsoft has now confirmed that the Xbox Music brand we have all come to love or hate is being ditched and replaced with the new name “Groove”. However as you can clearly see from the welcome screen it states Groove Music, but Microsoft have stated this is an error and will be changed in the next update.

So what can Windows 10 users expect to see in the new Groove app:

    The Look and Feel: Groove provides an improved experience for listening to and managing your music in Windows 10. Getting into music is faster than ever with easy-to-use menus and navigation controls that work well with both mouse/keyboard, and with familiar touch gestures on touch-screen devices. Pinch to zoom in or out of different views, drag your favorite tracks in to playlists, hover over the Taskbar icon for playback controls, or right click for contextual menus to pin an album to your Start menu. And you can also infuse your personality in to Groove – choose a light or dark theme for the app depending on your mood, or pick an accent color in Windows Settings and the Groove app makes it shine. Accessing Your Music on your favorite devices: We’re also making it easy to access your content across your favorite devices – with built-in OneDrive integration making your favorite songs only a few clicks away. Upload all your MP3’s to OneDrive, even songs purchased from iTunes, and access them all for free with the Groove app on your Windows devices, Xbox, the web — » Continue Reading.

Xbox One update rolling out today

Xbox One Update Screen

Xbox One owners should keep their eyes peeled for an update rolling out today.

There are no user-facing features, however.

” This update prepares for game streaming to Windows 10 (launching July 29th) and our upcoming Backward Compatibility feature launching in a few months.” so says Major Nelson on his blog.

And why will there be no new features in this update? Well because Microsoft are busy with “…the team focuses on the New Xbox One Experience that will be available later this year.”

So nothing to get too excited about it seems, although the last update that was announced as having no user-facing features did sneak in backwards compatibility, so who knows. Perhaps preview members will get a bunch of new Xbox 360 backwards compatible titles to play. We live in hope, and will be investigating our own machines later today to see if anything new has popped up.

 

New Xbox One owners still getting dashboard tile image problems

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The Xbox One has been out since November 2013, and yet a common problem still remains largely unaddressed or supported by both Xbox and BT. New Xbox One owners get an imageless dashboard – the tiles load, but no game or advert images load – a blessing and a curse!

The problem could eventually be resolved in the upcoming dashboard revamp, but for now, those using BT’s homehub 5 are primarily affected and may find that their dashboard tiles remain blank unless they do one simple thing – open up the Internet Explorer app!

When launching Internet Explorer on your Xbox One, the BT homehub page should automatically load and all you need do is follow the onscreen prompts and login to your BT account. Once you’ve done this, and selected which options you’d like, reboot your console and just like magic the dashboard tiles will load!

Happy gaming!

UPDATE: If you want to go one step further and stop the homehub from misbehaving with other devices, be sure to check out this article and disable Smart Setup – thanks Gunzta!

Microsoft reveals details about new dashboard

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After the dust settled from yesterday’s excitement, Microsoft revealed that a new look Xbox One dashboard would be released later this year.

The following is taken from Xbox Wire:

    A redesigned Home: We’ve redesigned Home to surface your most-used Xbox content. You can scroll vertically to see your recently played games with deeper information about the content and games you are using. You can see game DVR clips, achievements and add-ons for your games and can also quickly discover new content.
    A new guide: Gaming must-haves like friends, party invites and messages can be accessed directly from Home or while in a game. Scroll left from Home or double-tap the Xbox button while in a game and the guide will slide over on the left side of the screen. From here you can access gaming must-haves like your friends list, party invites, messages, and notifications.
    Community section: We’ve expanded upon the current Friends section so gamers can more quickly and easily access all their social activities. This includes the Activity Feed to see the latest updates from friends and game developers as well as What’s Trending on Xbox Live to interact with the most popular games and content currently on Xbox Live. Scroll right from Home to see what games your friends have been playing, interact with their posts and see the top things happening on Xbox Live right now.
    Xbox Avatars: We saw the passion from the community toward Xbox Avatars and are excited to bring them back in a more prominent way on Xbox One. We are modernizing the look of avatars with better image quality, keeping all the familiar customizations fans loved on Xbox 360.

Microsoft offers free EA Access

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Every once in a while Microsoft surprise us with the odd email inviting people to take part in exclusive offers, Beta tests and trials and it looks like they have done it again.

If you own an Xbox One you might want to keep an eye on your inbox as it seems our friends at Microsoft have emailed selective members offering them 12 months free EA Access, but there is a catch as you have to refer a friend to buy a console.

Now this sort of offer has been going on for a long time in Xbox Live Rewards, where if you get a friend to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold you both receive a large sum of Microsoft credits as a thankyou, these can then be used to buy digital games and added content. So it looks like the net has been cast a little wider this time and maybe is the first part of the big push planned to promote EA Access over the coming 12 months.

If you are one of the lucky ones to receive an email, we don’t know what selection criteria Microsoft are using, you will receive a unique code at the bottom of the email which you have to enter to show you have referred your friend. On doing this though both of you will then receive a years worth of EA Access.

Sounds easy, but digging deeper there seems another catch, restricting you to which Xbox you have to buy and how you buy it. If you are lucky enough though to receive one of these emails then do let us know.

EA Access is the exclusive subscription service where you receive discounts on EA games, » Continue Reading.

Battlefield 4 says goodbye to mobile commanders

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In a recent post on Battlelog, Dices hub for all things Battlefield, it was announced that as of August 11th 2015 the Battlefield 4 Commander app on the iOS and Android platforms will no longer be supported.

The posting went on to say;

This is not an easy choice, but we believe the time is right to retire the mobile app as we’re seeing more of our Commanders playing on PC and console. This change means that you’ll no longer be able to download the app from Apple Store or Google Play starting today, April 28th. However, if you have the app downloaded already, you can continue to play it on mobile devices until August 11th. Additionally, this change does not affect in any way the in-game Commander mode experience. You will still be able to take the command and lead your team to victory on your PC and consoles!

As a regular user of the app this saddens me as I have spent many hours supporting friends and colleagues when I’ve either been away from home or just couldn’t be bothered to fire my Xbox up.

With this service shutting down does this mean we might be seeing something new coming for a future DICE release that will include mobile device integration, who knows? All I know is I’m now going to have to find something else to do to while I wait to board my plane.

Xbox One to get DVR feature this year

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Tech blogger Paul Thurrott has revealed that the Xbox One will be getting the ability to record live television for later viewing at some point this year.

The report comes as Microsoft confirms that the Windows Media Center, used to play media from a computer to a television or large screen, won’t be coming to Windows 10.

As someone who is a big fan of the Digital TV tuner this is great news, hopefully we’ll hear more about this feature soon.

Source: Polygon

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.