New Smartglass & Xbox Video Features Incoming

by on April 2, 2014

Microsoft certainly haven’t been resting on their Laurels following the launch of their new Xbox One console in November last year. Several dashboard updates have already been rolled out – with many more promised – and now the company have announced a few changes to how your Smartglass and Xbox Videos apps will function.

The new idea will be that when you rent or buy a movie on Xbox Video, you will be able to start watching it on one of your Xbox Video devices, before switching to another and carrying on your viewing right where you left off. This will be cross-platform on Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, or online at XboxVideo.com.

On top of that, a selection of new Smartglass features will help users navigate through their Xbox One usage more easily. The new Smartglass features will allow users to:

· Easily navigate game options so you can quickly get to the full list of Achievements, challenges, and game clips without jumping through multiple screens.

· View recent players to find people you recently gamed with, easily add them as a friend, or issue a rematch challenge.

· Sort the Friends list by online status for a quick view of what your friends are doing.

· View your Activity Feed in a way that matches the view on your console

· Launch an app in Snap from your mobile device, and when you’re done, simply unsnap it.

· Receive Xbox Live messaging alerts on your mobile device, making it easier to stay in touch with friends when you’re on the go.

A selection of other new ideas will also be rolled out to selected users on an invitation-only trial basis, to gather some feedback:

· An enhanced TV watching experience (already available in the U.S.), which sees TV listings added to OneGuide, alongside Favorites and App Channels. This will work for people in Europe and Canada who have their TV connected to Xbox One via HDMI-in.

· More control over Xbox One, their TV, and set-top box, including setting new recordings and watching recorded content from their DVR, all from a tablet or smart phone. Xbox SmartGlass also adds a cool new feature to show the most recently-watched channels.

· New Kinect voice commands in Europe and Canada (already available in the U.S.) that lets you control your set-top box and other AV equipment.

As you can see, Microsoft are trying to improve the end-user experience and make it easier than ever to view and manage all of your entertainment content in one place. How many of these features actually receive a worldwide release, and how many remain in the U.S. only remains to be seen, once the trial period is over.