Xbox One update is big on friends, Blu-ray 3D support
July 21, 2014 by Nancy Owano
An Xbox One August update is arriving for early-access users. Microsoft said, "We're looking forward to hearing feedback on features before we roll them out to all Xbox One consoles next month and beyond." What are those features? Two of the most notable among the items are the opportunities for social engagement and 3D Blu-ray support. In a promotional video, Richard Irving from the Xbox engineering team, said, "The August update is a pretty big update for social and community engagement." He said the team revamped the activity panel to focus on items appearing in the user's feed to the things that user cares most about. A single-column list offers more content; the person sees a longer history of what the friend network has been up to. What's more, you have the ability to like items in the feed; you have the ability to comment on them, and your friends comment on them.
Microsoft's Xbox Wire page carried more details about the August feature, talking about the expanded-friends area: "Right from Home, see what's going on with your friends. Stay up-to-date with their current activity, the top trending games your friends are playing, and a leaderboard to see who has been working the hardest on their Gamerscore."
Also, for "Activity Feed Updates," Microsoft noted that one can share game clips "and anything else in the feed" with friends either publicly or as an attachment to a message. "You'll also be notified when anyone likes, comments on or shares your items. Each user will get a personal feed on their profile, so you can see what specific friends have been up to."
Two other features in the mix likely to win appreciation from Xbox fans are a low-battery notification and the ability to buy software from a mobile device. As for the battery notice, when the wireless controller is low on power or reaches a critical level, a notification appears that it is low and you should change them as quickly as possible, to avoid the controller shutting off. The convenience factor about buying from a mobile device is that the user can have it automatically start downloading on the Xbox One at home.
Many Xbox-watching sites via their headlines reveal a reaction that out of the social engagement and other features, the 3D Blu-ray announcement is considered rather huge. "An update to the Blu-ray player app," said Microsoft, "will enable 3D Blu-ray functionality on Xbox One." Greg Kumparak, mobile editor of TechCrunch, meanwhile, said "The best news of the next update? Your controller will give you a heads-up before it dies, rather than just conking out in the middle of an epic battle."
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