Xbox One September Update Finally 'Dis-Kinects'
Microsoft improves the Xbox One's multitasking capabilities now that buyers are no longer forced to buy the Kinect voice and motion controller.Following up the Xbox One's August update, which came loaded with social features, Microsoft is making it easier for users that have purchased the Kinect-less version of the console to explore its multitasking capabilities. In a late Sept. 8 Xbox Wire post, Larry Hryb (Major Nelson), director of programming for Xbox Live, said that September "is a big month for Xbox One" as Microsoft prepares to release features that owners have been clamoring for, including improved access to media. Members who are part of the company's preview program can download the update now while the general public waits for a release "over the next week or so," he said. A new, controller-optimized Snap experience enables users to multitask without uttering commands to the Xbox One, which is an exercise in futility with the base version of the games machine. "We've updated the Snap Center to include quick access to many of the things our fans wanted faster access to when playing a game—Friends, Messages, Game DVR, clock and battery indicator—as well as making it easier to close and open new snap apps when playing a game," Hryb wrote. A simple double tap of the Xbox button now brings up a menu that lets users manage their "snapped" apps.
To capitalize on the new functionality, Microsoft has updated two apps, Friends and Messages. The Friends app offers access to the friends list without interrupting a game while the Messages app allows users to read and respond to messages in a new threaded conversation view.