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Category Archives: Dashboard and Apps

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.

Vine App Available On Xbox One

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As of literally this minute, yes – this minute Vine fans you can entertain yourself with hours of the short, looping videos thanks to the Vine app on Xbox One. Available to quite a few Xbox Live locales, Vine should be available on the marketplace if you just “bing” it or check out the store.

The Xbox Wire posted the availability earlier today:

“This is the first Vine viewing experience built specifically for the TV, giving you access to funny, quirky, artistic, creative Vines directly in your living room. Now you can watch and explore the world of short, looping videos, and Xbox One makes them easy to enjoy using Kinect voice or gesture control to play, pause and search through the next or previous Vine. You can watch popular Vines, explore channels like Art, Music & Dance, and Comedy, view playlists, and more. In addition, the app can be snapped next to your games, TV or other entertainment apps, making it possible to watch Vines alongside your favorite games or whatever you’re watching.”

Check out the Vine experience today by visiting the Xbox Store and downloading Vine onto your Xbox One.

[Updated – FIXED] Xbox Preview Participants – Factory Reset Warning

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Xbox One Preview Testers, please take note that the latest and most recent dash download has a glitch that will factory reset your console and remove all of your games from the HDD. This bastard of an issue will have you seething with gritted teeth!

Microsoft has said in an official statement:

Due to an unforeseen issue with our update system, if when powering on your Xbox One console you are asked to download a system update, please decline it. By declining the update you will go off-line and not be factory reset. Please leave your console powered on until further notice.

We’ve identified an issue that could cause a small sub-set of consoles enrolled in Public Preview to factory reset after downloading the latest system update (deleting all local hard drive content). Note that a factory reset does not impact profile settings or game saves (which are synced to our servers when you connect to Xbox Live), or content stored on an external hard drive. For now, please decline the system update until we can address this issue on our end.

Please remember that declining the update will disconnect your Xbox One from Xbox LIVE and will not be able to play online. We do not yet know when a fixed update will be released, but I am sure MS will not hold back long!

Source: WPCentral

BBC IPlayer – Xbox One Version Due By End Of 2014

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The BBC iPlayer on Xbox One is way over-due, so over due it has been a cause for concern and a flurry of conspiracies have been circulating the internet as to its omission from the App Store on the Xbox One Marketplace.

The BBC have updated their blog to bring awareness that the BBC iPlayer is now available on over 1,200 devices, and that migrating to the newer version of iPlayer to all devices has taken some time. With regards to the Xbox One – a short, brief and blunt statement was confirmed in their blog post.

Q. You said Xbox One was coming soon – any update there?

A. Yes. I am happy to announce that we’re aiming to launch new BBC iPlayer on Xbox One by the end of this year.

When the BBC iPlayer has finally landed on the Xbox One – we’ll endeavour to keep you updated. We might even host a ‘Finally Here’ party and celebrate! At least we now have a time-frame in mind!

Via BBC

Xbox One Updated For 3D Blu-Ray, Expanded Friends And Auto-Downloads

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Here’s a shortlist of features rolling out next week to those with early access to the Xbox One system update:

    Activity feed updates: New ways for you to interact with friends in the activity feed. The interface will change to a single column scrolling list that is longer and includes more content. The ability to post text to your feed, and to “like” and comment on feed items. You can share game clips and anything else in the feed with friends either publically (to your activity feed) or privately (as an attachment to a message). You’ll also be notified when anyone likes, comments on or shares your items. Each user will get a personal feed on their profile, so you can see what specific friends have been up to. And, with SmartGlass, you can see what your friends have shared to their activity feed and “like” specific posts (additional activity feed support coming in future SmartGlass updates). Expanded Friends area on Home: Right from Home, see what’s going on with your friends. Stay up-to-date with their current activity, the top trending games your friends are playing, and a leaderboard to see who has been working the hardest on their Gamerscore. Xbox are doing an extended preview on this, rolling it into the early access preview this month to a subset of our preview audience so we can refine it until it’s ready for the entire Xbox One market. Mobile purchase: One of the most requested features on Xbox Feedback. Using Xbox SmartGlass or on Xbox.com, you can remotely purchase games and Add-on content. No more waiting to begin downloading when you get home – if your console is set to automatically take updates, your console will begin downloading your purchase. Low battery notification: You » Continue Reading.