Microsoft announces a number of features coming to Xbox Insiders this month

Back in November, Microsoft renamed the Xbox One Preview Program to the Xbox Insider Program, and in January, the company opened up system update previews to everyone, creating four separate rings. But the Insider Program isn't just a showcase for new features; it's a way for fans of the platform to provide feedback on how Microsoft can make it better.

Today, the company is responding to that feedback with a range of "fan-inspired" features that will be rolling out to select Insiders over the next month. Here's what you can expect:

Arena on Xbox Live

  • World of Tanks fans will be able to participate in new tournaments on their Xbox One, created by ESL and powered by Arena on Xbox Live.

  • Discover tournaments from your Xbox One or Xbox app on Windows 10, get notifications when your match is ready, jump directly into your match on the Xbox One, enjoy automatic results reporting, and show off the results on your activity feed.

Profile and Activity Feed

  • Custom gamerpics are finally here! From your console, Windows 10 PC, or mobile phone, update your gamerpic with a custom image. We’re excited to bring this top fan-requested feature to Xbox Live and expect it to be in preview longer than other features to ensure it’s great for everyone when released.

  • New ‘Join broadcast’ button in your profile, one of the many ways to access the game stream of someone broadcasting their gameplay.

  • Your profile will display your Arena tournament history and upcoming tournaments.

  • In your Activity Feed, we’re adding the ability to hide individual posts, pin posts to the top of your feed, and filter posts by friends, games or Clubs.

Clubs and Looking for Group (LFG)

  • When you create an LFG post, as the owner you will be able to see new vetting cards that include hero stats from gamers interested in joining your party. Hero stats are contextual to the game you’re playing, showing you relevant stats like kill/death ratio, rank, or score.

  • Achievement hunters, this one is for you! You will be able to search LFG posts from the Achievements tab, related to the Achievement you’re trying to finish.

  • We’re adding the number of open LFG posts to the Game Hub and Club Hub headers.

  • Have you made a successful LFG post that you want to create again? Now you can see previous LFG posts that you have created, participated or shown interest in, and can copy them to create new posts.

  • When creating an LFG post, see all the recent tags you’ve used and easily select them.

  • Club owners can upload custom images for their Club logo and Club background. Just like custom gamerpics, we expect this to be in preview longer than other features to ensure it’s great for everyone when released.

  • Club owners and admins will be identified and labeled in their text posts to better help them stand out and manage their community.

  • Club owners and admins can pin a post at the top of their Club feed.

My Games and Apps, and Settings

  • In ‘My Games and Apps,’ we’re adding the ability to filter your game library by platform – Xbox One and Xbox 360.

  • Captive Portal support for wireless internet is coming to Xbox One, which allows for Wi-Fi authentication through a browser. Great for colleges, hotels, or public Wi-Fi locations.

  • In the Settings, we’re adding the ability to select Kinect auto-zoom for Beam and Twitch broadcasts, as well as for the Skype app.

  • On the Xbox app for Windows 10, we’re adding the option to select the audio input and output sources for Party chat.

Microsoft's announcement only said that these features are coming to "select Insiders" over the next month, and didn't provide any further details. Presumably, it will arrive for members of the Preview Alpha ring first, and possibly the Beta ring within that timeframe.

It's also unclear as to when the general public will receive this. The Creators Update is slated to ship within the first half of April, and while Microsoft did say that it will come to PCs first and other platforms later, this still seems way too late for such a major list of features to make it into a feature update that will ship so soon.

It also seems too early to start seeing features that will be in the next major Windows 10 feature update, Redstone 3. It seems possible that Microsoft might be planning to do the same thing for the Xbox One that it did with the Anniversary Update, which is to split it into two parts.

Naturally, we've reached out to Microsoft for an official statement regarding when the general public will receive this update.

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