• Paul Fingleton

XBox One Preview members get to play early with new February Update

Microsoft has played to it's Software strengths with the Xbox One through 2014, coming from far behind after a less than stellar pre-launch period and missing key features at launch. The monthly updates have added much requested features and even some that had not been requested to make the entire system seem much different from the system available in November 2013.

The successful release schedule for Xbox One updates, with Preview members receiving the build several weeks before the general public, has now been adopted for the Windows 10 Technical Preview. If you want the latest and greatest software, you can have it first but expect some bumps along the way - the Windows Insider Fast Track and Slow Track releases.

Starting today, we get our first look at the February update as it starts to roll out to Preview members.

Starting today, members of the Xbox One preview program will get to check out these new features first:

  • Game hubs – New in preview this month, game hubs are where users will go for interesting content around your favourite games. Every Xbox One game will have a game hub where you can see which of your friends are playing the game, compete with your friends in game leaderboards, or view game clips and game broadcasts, and watch top players show your how the game should be played.

  • Custom backgrounds and tile transparency – additional tile transparency for your Home tiles to make background images more visible. Although Microsoft warn that some items can’t be made transparent due to usage rights/restrictions for certain images, which we would guess are App tiles like Netflix, Hulu and so on. This is similar to the behaviour on Windows Phone 8.1

  • TV updates – There are a lot of updates to the live TV this month features are being released to additional countries in preview this month, these will come to the Irish users later in the year:

  • TV trending in OneGuide – In the detailed OneGuide TV listings, users are shown a “Trending on Xbox” note and icon. Live TV trending is based on the number of Xbox One owners currently watching that show in each country, pulled from anonymous data collected at a national level. Currently, Xbox TV trending is only available to members in the U.S., UK and Canada for now.

  • Improved control of TVs, set-top boxes and audio/video receivers – This month’s preview release contains updates to the IR blasting database for new models and addresses issues reported by our fan community.

  • “Trick play” with Xbox One Digital TV Tuner – Xbox One owners with the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner will be able to see video when fast-forwarding or rewinding paused TV on their consoles.

  • Live TV streaming on Windows Phone and Android – We are continuing the preview of live TV streaming on Windows Phone and Android devices for Xbox One Digital TV Tuner owners in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

The Xbox One Preview Program tends to run for about two to three weeks and may receive several updates during that period, to fix reported issues. The Preview program is open to anyone, but in order to join you need to know someone who is already in the program and they can send you an invitation from the Preview app on their Xbox One console.

Source: XBox Wire