New Xbox One update will improve messaging, Game Pass, and more

A new Xbox One update is bringing a lot of quality-of-life features to make your console experience a little better. Called update 1905, these changes will roll out to Alpha Skip Ahead and Alpha members as early as tomorrow.

To start, Xbox Game Pass is getting a new addition in the form of “Play later.” This is exactly what it sounds like: A list to store the dozens of games you want to play at some point. You can manage this space from the console or directly from your phone. While not overly useful, this means you no longer have to skim through the entire Game Pass list to find a specific title. Just save it for easy access later.

Moreover, the Xbox Live friends list now shows you where gamers are playing. A little symbol appears next to their name that shows if the friend is on mobile or Windows 10. Of course, there isn’t a symbol for friends playing on Xbox. Those players will remain the same. We can expect there will be more symbols added once Xbox Live comes to Nintendo Switch or when xCloud launches as well.

We’re also getting message requests. This change places all of your friend messages into their own space. Then, messages from strangers will go into a “requests” space for you to tend to later. Also nothing game-changing, but this is a nice touch that cleans up the communication system a bit. However, any current group messages will disappear as a part of this update. But, users can copy and paste the contents out of them via Xbox.com.

There will also be some new sorting options in the “My Games & Apps” section. A notable change is that “The” will no longer count in the title name during an alphabetical sort. For example, The Escapists will now list under “E” instead of “T.”

Finally, some Xbox Insiders will see what’s called experimental features on top of all this. They are in place to “gauge interest and solicit feedback from a more focused group.” Interesting!