The Xbox One summer update has begun to roll out to Xbox One owners, and it is one of the more substantial updates to the system in a while, bringing things like background music, region independence, and Cortana to the system.
Almost all the features that were in the preview are available in the update, along with some features that weren’t. Here’s a list of features you can expect to see when you download the update.
- Background Music – You can now play music in the background of games without having to snap an app to the side of the screen. It’s important to note that Pandora is the only app that does this currently. Microsoft’s own Groove app is coming soon, likely alongside the release of Forza Horizon 3. Local media playback, iHeartRadio and other apps are coming soon as well. Spotify, sadly, is not on that list.
- Cortana – Cortana’s been available on Windows 10 for a year now, and it’s now coming to Xbox One. Cortana should respond more accurately than Xbox One commands, and can be used to perform functions like turning on your Xbox, starting Xbox Live parties, and more. The best part? I can say the word Xbox without my console perking up like when you accidentally say the word “walk” near your dog. If you’re using Kineckt, you can enable Cortana or leave standard Xbox commands in place.
- Improved Game Collection – The way you view and manage your game collection on Xbox One is getting a substantial update. You can view by game, apps, or both, and you can also manipulate the size of tiles on this screen to better suit your needs. There’s a separate tab for items you own that aren’t installed yet, and the screen will even show you how fast your current download is going so you can tell if the download is really as slow as you think it is.
- Language Region Independence – most people, most of the time, live in the same region as their home language. Sometimes, though, you end up overseas for work, school, or vacation. The Xbox One previously tied language and region together, but the update separates the two. If you’re living in Japan as an American, you can use your system in English while adhering to the local region restrictions.
- Xbox and Windows Store Convergence – The Xbox and Windows stores are joining together. Once Xbox Play Anywhere blows up with Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, and other stuff this fall, that’ll ensure that you can play those games on your PC or your Xbox. You can also buy Xbox games from your PC following this update, and more.
Additionally, the Xbox app is coming to iOS and Android, and the Xbox app for Windows will see some improvements. The Xbox app will be able to record gameplay at 60fps, and the Windows Game Bar will be usable in more full screen games including League of Legends and DOTA 2. Top PC games will start to show up on Xbox Live with dedicated game hubs and game status.
The Xbox side of this update is rolling now, while the Windows side hits tomorrow.