Back in November, Microsoft rolled out the New Xbox One Experience, delivering a major Windows 10-based overhaul for the console's software. After releasing a minor update in December, bringing bug fixes and stability enhancements, the company has announced new features on the way - and as ever, members of the Xbox One Preview program get to try them out first.
There are two waves of updates on the way, and the first will begin today for Xbox One Preview members:
- You can now see who's in a Party before joining.
- You can now re-arrange individual Pins on the Xbox One Home screen, and Pins will also be available to launch when you're offline.
- Your Activity Feed will now be updated with notifications of new items. As Microsoft explains: "Clicking the link will take you to the top of your feed where you'll see a run-down of the newest posts, so that you always have the freshest content at your fingertips."
- Under Log-in > View Achievements, you'll now be able to see the revived Gamerscore Leaderboard, offering an overview of your total gamerscore, and those of your friends, as well as who's made the biggest gains over the last 30 days.
- Both Game Hubs and game tiles will allow you to easily join Twitch broadcasts if your friends are broadcasting
- There are new improvements for Friend Suggestions in Community and the Friends list in the Guide. "Friend Suggestions include the gamertag, real name (if shared), gamerpic or Xbox Avatar image, and the reason the suggestion was made to you."
- In response to user feedback, you can now hide content like betas, trials, games and apps that you no longer wish to install from the 'ready-to-install list'.
Further improvements are also on the way for Xbox One Preview members who use the Xbox Beta app on Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. These will arrive next week, and will include:
- Newly-integrated Avatar Store in the Xbox Avatars app on Xbox One (access to the Store will be available via the same app on Windows 10 PCs and phones).
- Xbox News posts will be added to the Activity Feed, including details of new hardware, console updates, game releases, gaming tournaments, entertainment content, and more.
- A new access point for Trending items (to the right of the Community tab on the Xbox One; and in the left menu area on the Xbox Beta app), which will take you to a dedicated Trending page with popular videos, screenshots, achievements, and other content.
- On both the console and Xbox Beta app, Microsoft says it's "making it easier to get details on your suggested friends".
- New features and functionality in Xbox Beta app 'compact mode', allowing you to switch easily between viewing friends, your Party, messages and activity alerts.
This is just the first of what's sure to be many more updates on the way for the Xbox One and Windows 10's Xbox App this year. Don't forget that these new features will be rolling out first to those on the Preview program, but a general rollout will eventually follow for other users early next month.