Category Archives: Dashboard and Apps

Xbox One Dashboard adds support for monitors in the April Update

The evolution of the Xbox One dashboard continues with more new features being added nearly every month. The April update has been rolling out and includes support for those of us who use monitors, and now allows direct sharing of captures to Twitter. Check out the details of the update on the latest episode of Inside Xbox with full patch notes of the update after the video!

Video & Display

  • We’ve added a bunch of new video features we hope you’ll enjoy, starting with Auto Low-Latency Mode (or ALLM for short). Auto Low-Latency Mode enables the family of Xbox One devices to notify your display when you’re playing a game, so a TV that also supports ALLM will know to switch to its low latency video mode. Many displays refer to low latency mode as “game mode.”
  • Gamers will also enjoy the newly introduced support for variable refresh rate output to AMD Radeon™ FreeSync and FreeSync 2 compatible displays. AMD Radeon™ FreeSync is a form of variable refresh rate which helps to reduce input latency and minimize display stuttering, delivering a buttery-smooth visual gameplay experience in your favorite games. The entire Xbox One family of devices will work with FreeSync-certified displays. Xbox One S and Xbox One X will also support high dynamic range with AMD Radeon™ FreeSync 2.
  • Xbox One X and Xbox One S now support output at 2560 x 1440 (1440p) resolution for games and media. With over a million and a half more pixels than 1080p, this resolution offers even more choice between Full HD and 4K displays. This feature should be especially appealing to Xbox One owners who use a 1440p display for PC gaming. Media apps can now add an option for 1440p output for on both Xbox One X and Xbox One S. Developers can also now enable games to run at native 1440p resolution on Xbox One X.

You can enable all these video options from the Settings menu on your Xbox One. Just navigate to “Display & Sound,” then “Video Output.” Note that you’ll only be able to turn on these settings if your TV or monitor supports them.

Streaming & Captures

  • Mixer streamers on Xbox One can now share control of their game with a viewer on Mixer.com. Just turn on the “Share Controller” toggle from the Broadcast & Capture section in Guide and your viewers will be able to share control through a virtual controller in their web browser, or by plugging a physical controller into their PC.
  • You can also now start Mixer broadcasts from anywhere on Xbox One, making streaming easier than ever. If you decide to switch games or exit to the dashboard, your viewers will see a pause animation until you jump back into a game. You will also see a pause animation on your broadcasting status bar on your screen.
  • In addition, you can now share captured screenshots and clips directly to Twitter, after authenticating your account, from the Broadcast & Capture tab of the Guide. Shared captures will now display and play directly in your Twitter feed instead of showing up as a link. We’ll also help you get your content discovered by suggesting a hashtag for the title of the game. Want to follow clips shared by Xbox gamers? Track clips with the #XboxShare hashtag!

Personalisation

  • Xbox Insiders have seen this option for a while, but now everyone can choose to switch between light and dark themes on your Xbox One based on the time of day. You can also personalize your theme to automatically transition from dark to light based on sunrise and sunset in your location. We’ve also added a new high-contrast light theme option, which makes on-screen elements easier to see.

Audio & Ease of Access

  • Based on fan feedback, we’re making additional improvements to Narrator on Xbox One. Narrator volume can now be adjusted independently from system audio volume. We’ve also introduced a new input learning mode to the Narrator menu. With input learning mode enabled, the Narrator on Xbox One will say the name of whatever button you press on an attached input device. High contrast light theme and narrator options can both be adjusted in the Ease of Access menu in Settings.

Apps

  • The Microsoft Edge browser on Xbox One has been updated to a more modern look and feel. Enhancements to history and favorites make it easy for you to get back to your favorite sites. Other new features include tab muting, read aloud and autofill. You can also now download and upload pictures, music, and videos from Microsoft Edge on Xbox One; your downloaded content can then be browsed with the File Explorer app.

Clubs, Game Hubs & Tournaments

  • Community tournaments are now available directly in Game Hubs for supported games. This means you no longer need to own or be the admin of a club to create a tournament. To get started, open the Game Hub for a game that supports tournaments. Head to the “Multiplayer” tab and select “Community tournaments” then choose the option for “Create tournament.”
  • Club feeds have also gained new filters to show you “what’s new,” “what’s hot” or “top posts.” Additionally, you can now lock the comments on your feed posts across clubs, Game Hubs, and Community, so the only person in control of the narrative is you.
  • If you’re a club owner or admin, you can now filter invitation requests based on several criteria, including Gamerscore, play time, reputation, Xbox Live Gold status, and recommendations from club members. Club invitation filters will persist until the administrator changes them, so if you set or edit club invitation filters, they will still be there the next time you sign-in.
  • In addition to all these new features on Xbox One, a subset of users may also see additional experimental features that we didn’t mention here. These features are only enabled for a portion of the Xbox audience to gauge interest and collect feedback. 

 

 

 

Xbox Spring Update rolling out to Xbox Insiders

Microsoft is rolling out new features to the Xbox Insider community as a preview of the Spring Update for Xbox, including a new form of Mixer interactivity, new video output options, new invite tools for Club owners, more immersive audio and more.

Updates rolling out to Insiders include:

  • New Mixer Functionality. Mixer streamers on Xbox One now have the option of sharing their controller with a Mixer viewer who is watching through Mixer.com. Streamers can share their entire controller (except the Xbox button) in the Xbox game they are playing, and a viewer can take control through the on-screen gamepad or by plugging a controller into their PC. Viewer and streamer can work together in the game, or the viewer can cause trouble – it’s your choice!
  • New Video Output Support. Xbox One X and Xbox One S now support output at 1440p resolution for games and media; 1440p resolution, sometimes referred to as “2560×1440” and “QHD,” is a popular choice for PC users. With over a million and a half more pixels than 1080p, this resolution fills the gap between Full HD and 4K displays.

  • More Immersive Audio. You now have the option to selectively balance game audio against background music within the Guide. But that’s not all. The system sounds on Home and in the Guide have been completely revamped to support spatial audio, so the audio cues from your surround sound system will match the actions you see on-screen.
  • Microsoft Edge browser has also been updated with a modern new look but also the functionality has been improved for use with a controller.
  • Powerful Invite Filtering Tools for Club Owners – Club administrators can now filter invitation requests based on various criteria, including reputation, Gamerscore, and recommendations from existing club members. Are you setting up a club for hardcore PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds players? Set a filter to only show invitees with over 200 hours of playtime. Maybe you’re looking for Gamerscore completionists in Forza Motorsport 7? Filter requests to only show invitees with over 900 Gamerscore. These filters will persist until the administrator changes them, so if you set or edit club filters, they’ll still be there the next time you sign-in. Club invitees will also now appear in a vertical list, with details such as their Gamertag, Gamerpic, Gamerscore, a line noting if the new invitees were recommended by an existing club member, and a reputation indicator.
  • Smarter Feeds – You will soon be able to sort your club feeds to show you “what’s hot” and “top posts.” Use the “what’s hot” filter to see trending content in the club feed that’s popular right now. Filtering by “top posts” will show you the most popular posts of all time in that club. You will also soon be able to disable comments on your feed posts across clubs, Game Hubs, and Community, so the only person in control of the narrative is you. Finally, we’re cleaning up your feeds by hiding posts for broadcasts once they’ve ended.

 

Microsoft announce the Combat Tech Special Edition Xbox Controller

Kodi now available on Xbox One

Kodi

Kodi is now available on the Xbox One.

Yesterday the first version of the app hit the Xbox One and is available for everyone to download. Over on the Kodi website there is a blog post which explains how the team came about getting the app on the Xbox, but in summary they have warned users that the Xbox One download isn’t finished and may contain missing features and bugs and they are listed below:

  • There’s limited access to only part of your Video and Music folders.
  • Network support is limited to NFS:// shares.
  • There’s no access to attached storage or to the Blu-ray drive.
  • There might be problems with some add-ons.

 

 

 

 

Be Prepared for Xbox One X on your Xbox NOW!

With the launch of the new dashboard you too can be ready for the Xbox One X when it launches on November 7th.

First of all, I would strongly advise the use of an external USB hard-drive. It will be the quickest way to transfer your games to the new machine. If not, Xbox have detailed the network transfer method for you.

There is now an option within the settings of the new dashboard to start downloading the 4K texture packs before the X arrives. Simply do the below!

  • Goto Settings, System, Backup and Transfer
  • Then click the options box that says “Download 4K Game Content”

Voila! It’s that simples!

There is a way you can check to see whether these have been downloaded as part of an update.

Simply select the game in “My Games and Apps” and press LB, RB, Menu and View simultaneously. This will bring up a text screen with all manner of info on it. Look for where it says “Assets Installed” and you should see reference to “Scorpio” or “X” next to it.

You can also select games in the “My Games and Apps” section to filter by Xbox One X enhanced games. We are still in the early days of these 4K updates rolling out, so be patient as good things come to those who wait!

Xbox One Fall 2017 Update launching for everyone

Its been in preview for a few months but its now launching for every Xbox One owner, and presumably will be the dashboard pre-loaded onto the Xbox One X. Yes, its new dashboard time, something that usually comes once a year, just like Santa but a few months earlier!

The new 1710 update contains many wondrous things, most of all the ability to customise the dashboard to your own personal tastes and also brings in the ability to game capture in 1080p direct to a USB memory stick for up to 60 minutes. I personally tried this feature last week and it is as awesome as it sounds!

The main thing you will notice immediately is the design change to the main dashboard. This allows you to pin anything as a “block” on the dash, when you scroll up and down. Games and friends can be added as these blocks. Pins have been increased to 40, and the guide is now faster and more responsive. Pressing the guide button now brings the guide to the forefront and all the features are now laid out horizontally.

I have played with this new dash for the last week and it does feel a lot better, and the addition of the USB capture works perfectly. I can’t wait to see this dash on the X in 3 weeks time!

For the full feature list check out the official post on Xbox Wire.

Microsoft retires Groove Music, teams up with Spotify instead

Microsoft are retiring Groove Music. Microsoft will stop selling Groove Music passes to stream music and any customers subscribed to the service will be refunded pro-rata once Groove Music Pass is discontinued on December 31st.

With the excellent Spotify app now available on the Xbox One, its no surprise that this has happened.

MS and Spotify have partnered to make sure Groove users will be easily able to switch service. Microsoft have also said it will continue to invest in the music app for Windows 10 to ensure users can still access local MP3 files and those stored in OneDrive.

Has this affected you? Let us know.

Source: The Verge

Changes coming to Xbox Achievements?

In an interview with Windows Central, Xbox Vice-President Mike Ybarra has hinted at a possible change to the way achievements will work on the Xbox platform.

“We can do a lot more to reflect and let people show their gaming history and their status, whether it’s somebody who only plays multiplayer in Halo 5 at a professional level, maybe they only have 2,000 Gamerscore, you want to be able to celebrate that person.”

While Ybarra didn’t go into any details about how and when the changes will happen he also said, “We’re going to go big in the area of letting people show off and represent their gaming history and the type of gamer that they are, far more than we do with Gamerscore.”

I personally don’t see this as a change to the current system, but I do think we will see an addition to the current loved system that will reward those of you rack up 100’s of hours on multiplayer shooters.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!

A Wild Spotify Appears on Xbox One

After many years in the wilderness, Spotify has arrived on Xbox. Along with custom music on your Xbox, an integration that was sorely missing from Microsoft’s flagship console for some time, you can now stream from Spotify whilst playing your favourite games on Xbox.  Click to download!

Major Nelson has covered the basics over on his blog, with the following standing out to me:

  • App and background play is there for both Free or Premium Spotify subscribers
  • Control your music via Spotify Connect, so you don’t have to interrupt that clutch spree on Gears 4!

I, for one, will be looking forward to seeing what playlists are out there on the Xbox Game Hub! I am always on the lookout for something fresh.

Xbox is getting a new Dashboard

It’s just been announced that the Xbox Dashboard is getting an overhaul.

Even more exciting, if you are part of the Xbox Insiders Program and in the Alpha ring, you’ll get to experience it very soon.

This release is the next major update for gaming on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, and is designed to make the Xbox gaming experience more fun, personalized, and social than ever.

Based on fan feedback, Xbox want to give us the ability to customize Home the way we want. This new experience on Xbox One will gamers more choice and delivers fun faster. Updates to Home, Guide and Community are available today, with updates to Avatars, Game Hubs, Profiles and more coming in the Autumn. Windows 10 PCs will also receive updates to the Game bar and Gaming settings menu.

Check out the video below for more info and head over to Xbox Wire for more details about the update.

Microsoft to add Game Gifting to Xbox One

It finally looks like Microsoft is adding the much requested game gifting feature to the Xbox store. In a tweet this week, Mike Ybarra, Xbox Vice President, revealed hat the company is “not far” off adding the support to gift purchases.

Game gifting has been a highly requested feature on the Xbox feedback site, where fans can request and vote on new features for the console. This request has amassed nearly 5,000 votes over the past three years. It’s not clear when Microsoft plans to launch this service, but with Ybarra’s tweet it appears it will most likely be sooner rather than later.