Get ready for some improvements to your Xbox One experience, as Microsoft has announced that the April Xbox One update, already available for Xbox Preview Members, will be rolling out to everyone else today. The update brings some pretty sweet improvements to Party Chat, Achievement Notifications, and brings the new “Whats On” area to the dashboard.
Party chat will now include more icons and notifications that will make it easier to navigate. The “Whats On” area will serve as a panel on the dashboard that will lead you to popular items on the Xbox One such as certain games or television shows. As for Achievements, they will now include a description on what it is you did to unlock them when they pop up, so you’ll no longer have to open up the achievement application to find the information.
Unfortunately, two promised improvements are not included in this update. Both voice messages and dedicated party chat servers, which were expected, don’t seem to be ready just yet. Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb had this to say about the situation:
“Voice messages and dedicated servers for party chat will ship once the team is confident they are ready.” Though the wait may seem painful, it is a great approach to hold off on features until they are in working condition.
Below you can see the check list of improvements provided by Microsoft, for a more comprehensive look at the update.
- Party chat improvements – Over the past few months, we’ve added additional icons and notifications within the party chat experience to help you understand your connection and microphone status. This month, party chat is being improved with troubleshooting guidance for Xbox One owners. The party app will help you get your microphone enabled and show you when privacy settings or networking issues are blocking communication with particular party members.
- Game hub links – In February, we introduced game hubs where you can be the first to get news on upcoming updates, featured game clips, behind the scenes content and more. With this update, you can more easily discover game hub content from activity feed items. You’ll see activity feed items when any of your friends follow a game, and you’ll also be able to get back to a game’s hub from activity feed posts related to the game – including feed items about the game’s achievements, game clips and screenshots. Finally, we’ve added a link to game hubs from the game’s page in the achievements app.
- Achievement notifications – Achievement notifications today display the achievement name and the gamerscore you just earned. With tonight’s update, you’ll also see the achievement’s description in the notification so you know what you did to earn this achievement without having to open the achievements app. Based on feedback from preview program members, we increased the time that an achievement notification is displayed and we also made some performance improvements to make loading the achievements app from a notification faster.
- What’s On – The What’s On area is now available for Xbox One users in the U.S., Canada, and the UK. In it, you’ll find links to popular videos, games, movies, TV shows, game broadcasts and clips, along with Trending TV shows if you have configured OneGuide for your Xbox One console.
Microsoft has done an excellent job with consistent improvements throughout the months, improving the console one feature at a time.The Achievement description in particular is a nice touch that hopefully competitors will emulate. Make sure to let us know what you think of the update and what other features you’d like to see in future updates in the comments section below.