Microsoft has confirmed it will roll out a new Xbox One and SmartGlass update this week, bringing the console closer to its creator’s aim of establishing an all-in-one media hub.
In a post on the Xbox News Wire, Microsoft wrote, “Since the launch of Xbox One, it’s been our mission to keep improving – the games, the entertainment, the all-in-one experience. That’s why we’re bringing some updates to you this month across Xbox Video and Xbox SmartGlass, and it’s why we’re also exploring exciting new features to bring TV elements to more global markets and a new option for using OneGuide on multiple devices.”
This week, Microsoft will start offering ‘Rent Once, Play Anywhere’ video functionality, that allows users to purchase a film on one device, pause their playback, then pick up where they left off across Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and online at XboxVideo.com.
The following new SmartGlass patch notes were also posted online:
- Easily 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.
In addition, select Xbox One update preview members across the US, Europe, and Canada will be invited to test out a range of future updates, including:
- 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.
The last batch of updates will be made available to public users later on this year.