New Xbox One homepage redesign gets rid of Cortana, offers easier access to Game Pass

By Sherif Saed
25 July 2019 09:23 GMT

Microsoft has begun testing a new design for the Xbox One homepage that makes a few welcome changes.

The streamlined new Xbox One home is available to Xbox Insiders, and it removes some of the clutter seen in the current design. The sections at the top have been removed and are now instead combined in a box on the left.

These includes Xbox Game Pass, the store, Mixer, and community tiles.

This should make the dashboard a bit faster, since it won’t have to load all these different tabs. Recently played games take centre stage, with the most recent game prominently displayed ahead of a scrolling list of other recently accessed content.

The other major change in this update is the switching of foles for Cortana; from an on-console assistant into a cloud-based one. What this actually means is that you’ll no longer be able to use your headset to ask Cortana about anything. The Xbox Skill for Cortana remains available, however, through the Cortana app on phones, and through Alexa devices.

This is part of a larger push at Microsoft to re-position Cortana as a more business-oriented assistant.

Microsoft calls this an “experimental” update, and it’s rolling out this week to Alpha and Alpha Skip Ahead Xbox Insiders. The new design should be available to all Xbox One owners this fall.

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