Microsoft has been aggressively updating its Xbox One console over the past six months, offering the latest features to members of a preview program before rolling them out more broadly. The latest October system update is being released today to preview, and it brings a number of features that will be particularly useful for those without Kinect.
Microsoft is focusing on the snap experience with the October update with a new “Snap Center” feature that acts as a task switcher between apps. A double tap of the Xbox button activates the Snap Center with a UI to quickly switch between friends, messages, and game DVR. It makes it a lot easier to snap apps instead of having to shout “Xbox snap” at Kinect. Snap Center will also highlight the time and battery level for quick access to both during gameplay. Microsoft is also tweaking its friends and messages apps so they’re finally optimized for the snap view at the side of the screen, including the ability to send and receive messages in snap mode. Alongside the snap improvements, there’s also a new way to record a 30-second game clip with the controller instead of using Kinect to “Xbox, record that.”
While Microsoft added a media player to the Xbox One last month, the latest update brings MKV and DLNA support to play files stored on a network device. Other media features include updates to the TV integration, with Microsoft’s OneGuide TV listings arriving in Belgium, Chile, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and Russia. Microsoft is also adding a live TV trending feature that simply surfaces the top 10 most watched TV shows nearby. Microsoft is planning to roll out some features to Xbox One preview members today, with a second feature update planned next week.