In a blog post on the Xbox Wire, Microsoft today announced a series of updates for its Xbox SmartGlass and Xbox Video services that the company hopes will improve the "all-in-one" nature of the Xbox One.
First, Microsoft is adding a range of new SmartGlass features that promise to make it easier for users to navigate various Xbox One applications and services. With the latest Xbox One SmartGlass update, you can, per Microsoft's words:
- Navigate game options so you can quickly get to the full list of Achievements, challenges, and game clips without jumping through multiple screens.
- View recent players to find people you recently gamed with, easily add them as a friend, or issue a rematch challenge.
- Sort the Friends list by online status for a quick view of what your friends are doing.
- View your Activity Feed in a way that matches the view on your console.
- Launch an app in Snap from your mobile device, and when you’re done, simply unsnap it.
- Receive Xbox Live messaging alerts on your mobile device, making it easier to stay in touch with friends when you’re on the go.
Microsoft is also allowing select Xbox Live users in the United States, Europe, and Canada try out new OneGuide features that are "designed to improve the TV experience" on Xbox One. Users chosen to participate in the beta will see:
- An enhanced TV watching experience (that’s already available in the U.S.), which sees TV listings added to OneGuide, alongside Favorites and App Channels. This will work for people in Europe and Canada who have their TV connected to Xbox One via HDMI-in.
- More control over Xbox One, their TV, and set-top box, including setting new recordings and watching recorded content from their DVR, all from a tablet or smart phone. Xbox SmartGlass also adds a cool new feature to show the most recently-watched channels.
- New Kinect voice commands in Europe and Canada (already available in the U.S.) which let you control your set-top box and other AV equipment.
These features will be released publicly later in the year, Microsoft said.
Switching to Xbox Video, beginning this week users can rent or buy a movie from Xbox Video, start watching on one screen and then pick up exactly where they left off on another. This feature is coming later to Windows Phone 8 and XboxVideo.com users.