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Category Archives: Dashboard and Apps

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.

Microsoft detail February Dash update

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Now that the Christmas and New Year period is officially over, Microsoft have resumed their monthly plan of scheduled Xbox One system updates, and they’ve just released details of the firmware refresh for February.

The addition that people will notice most is the option for tile transparency on the console’s home screen, allowing you to see more of your gorgeous custom backgrounds. The biggest addition though, will be Game Hubs.

Game Hubs will be a location on the home screen that collates stats on your progress through every game on the Xbox One catalogue. Compare yourself to your friends and throughout the community. This will list achievement information, DLC details and Twitch videos. There are also some shortcuts for how you’d like to play the game. Options for full screen play, with achievements snapped, Party Play, or to instantly start a Twitch broadcast are added to the “Play” submenu.

Other additions include the option to stream live TV to Windows Phone and Android users, if the TV Tuner option is available in your region, and there is a new “trending” tab for Live TV too.

Microsoft have also added some behind-the-gui updates for the console’s capability to communicate with newer models of TV.

If you’re lucky enough to be on the dashboard beta, this update should be available now, if not it’ll be heading your way early next month

Have a look at the overview video below, with Major Nelson and Richard Irving from the Xbox Engineering team for a quick demo.

Xbox One Avatars all ready for a makeover

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According to a new Job Vacancy advertised on Microsoft’s Cororate website, Avatars for your gamer profile could be about to get some much-needed makeover time with Jenny Frost and POD, nowhere in sight.

Spotted originally by Dualshockers, the vacancy is looking for a graphics engineer that will:

..work with us to grow the avatar platform across all of our platforms, leveraging the power of the Xbox One, the far reach of Windows, and the intimacy of touch on mobile devices.

Further on in the description, it’s clear that Microsoft are looking to take advantage of the better processing power of the One, asking potential candidates if they are prepared to send Xbox Avatars on:

..their biggest adventure yet with higher fidelity and a bigger stage in new Xbox experiences.

Does this mean that Avatars are making a comeback? When was the last time you updated or even looked at your Avatar? I can’t even remember what mine looks like if I’m honest, it’s not even mine at the top of this article, can you guess who’s it is? There are no prizes for guessing and we promise we won’t ask you to Snog, Marry, Avoid.

Would this encourage you to spend more hard-earned currency on Avatar items, or is it something that’s simply had it’s day?

 

Four Console companion apps and how to use them

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Developers are constantly offering new and exciting second-screen experiences with their console games. Smartphones are quickly becoming an extension of everything we do, including gaming. Daily News reports that there are more smartphones activated every day than there are babies born worldwide and that 43 percent of all time spent on smartphones is dedicated to gaming. It was only inevitable that gaming would craft a bridge between the mobile experience and the console experience, and here is a look at just a few of the best companion apps out there.

Xbox Smartglass

Xbox SmartGlass allows you to sync your smartphone or other mobile device with your Xbox 360, bringing you a rich and interactive second-screen experience. Smartglass connects you with unique content and lets you interact with your favorite shows, games, and movies in a way that changes the remote control forever. You can navigate the Xbox menus, search your media catalog and control media, all from the Smartglass app, as well as track your game achievements, message Xbox friends and access your Xbox Live account. Smartglass gives you easy access to you Xbox dashboard, but it does require an Xbox membership to sign in. It is available for most Android smartphones and tablet devices.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity Companion App

The “Assassin’s Creed: Unity” companion app does everything that one might expect from an action-adventure game’s second-screen experience and more. For one, it offers a map of the Parisian cityscape that is much more interactive than the in-game map, allowing players to set waypoints in the game with the swipe of a finger.

In addition, it offers several in-app game experiences that translate directly to the console in-game experience. Glyph Puzzles are app games that are unlocked with each landmark discovered in the main game, and solving a Glyph Puzzle opens » Continue Reading.

BBC iPlayer app finally launches on Xbox One

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Have you been missing those hard to find Eastenders episodes? They’re never repeated, ever.

Worry no longer, you can finally discover what the Mitchell’s are doing down the Arches and you can hear those immortal words, “Get out of my pub” without leaving the comfort of your Xbox dash.

The iPlayer app, despite being available on PS4 for months,  has been conspicuous by it’s absence on Xbox One and it has taken over a year to make an appearance.

Now, simply pop onto the store, or if you can’t see it there, search for it and it should now be 46MB of available goodness.

Never miss those hard to catch Eastenders episodes again.

 

ESL releases ESL App on Xbox One

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ESL is the world’s largest independent eSports brand and today they announced the release of its new app on Xbox One. The ESP app enables competitive console players – initially from Europe and North America – to connect directly through Xbox Live. Launching today, the application will allow gamers to compete across an expansive list of game titles in a variety of ESL cups and tournaments. With matchmaking acting as the core feature, the ESL app on Xbox One eliminates the need for extra devices and browser windows, thereby streamlining the gaming experience for users.

ESL stands for the best eSports experience in the world and our goal is to deliver that experience on all platforms. By launching our own app, we want to bring that unique experience to the Xbox One and its lineup of multiplayer games. The app will allow players of all skill levels to easily participate in our tournaments. This is just the start for us – we are working hard to bring major eSports tournaments to consoles and integrate them flawlessly into our app so everyone can get involved.

said Marcel Menge, Managing Director at Turtle eSports Technology.

The ESL Xbox One app allows gamers to:

    Find, sign up and submit results for ESL matches and cups Track their individual progress in past and current ESL competitions View and contact teammates and opponents via their gamertags Read the latest eSports news right here on ESLGaming.com

At Xbox, we’re dedicated to providing gamers with the experiences they ask for and we know competitive gaming is a growing category.  With the addition of the ESL app on Xbox One, we can deliver a wide range of tournaments for some of the best games on the platform all » Continue Reading.

Xbox One October Update

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The October Xbox One Update began rolling out less than 48 hours ago. Here’s what to expect when it lands on your console if it hasn’t already.

New Snap and Friends functions

    Snap Updates – Microsoft have updated the Snap Center to include quick access to many of the things the fans wanted faster access to when playing a game – Friends, Messages, Game DVR, clock, and battery indicator – as well as making it easier to close and open new snap apps when playing a game. A double tap of the Xbox button on your controller will bring up a menu that allows you to open a new app in snap mode, close the current snapped app, or switch focus between your game and your running snapped app. Additionally, two apps have been optimized for Snap mode:
      Friends Snap App – Access your friends list without leaving the game. Quickly check your friends list to see who’s online right now and take actions like send message, invite or join. Messages Snap App – You’ll be able to open, read and respond to messages in Snap mode, and messages will now be displayed in a threaded conversation view.

    Achievements App – Updated to enable sharing of achievements you’ve unlocked with captions, see a list of friends who have unlocked specific achievements, and an updated achievements Snap landing page that that shows Achievements on recently played games, when a gamer is not actively playing a game. Friends section – The new Friends section enables you to see at a glance what’s going on with your friends. You can stay up-to-date with their current activities, the most popular games your friends are playing, and a Gamerscore leaderboard to see who » Continue Reading.