Microsoft Details Snap and TV Updates in New Xbox One System Firmware

Microsoft's Xbox One console allows users to command the console with their voices, though anyone like me without Kinect actively set up will find that the company's new system update adds new features they'll never use.

Without my Kinect camera plugged in, Xbox One can't see up my loose-fitting boxer shorts! That's a benefit. Unfortunately, there's a cost. I won't be able to snap achievements to track progress on-screen while playing a game, at least not with my voice.

Here's the full list of updates coming to Xbox One consoles, available now for anyone in the Xbox preview program. Check Major Nelson's blog for full details.

  • Friends Snap App – Allows access to the friends list without leaving your game. See who is online, what they're playing, and send messages or join them.
  • Messages Snap App – Open, read, and respond to messages without leaving your game. Messages will also be shown in conversation threads from now on.
  • Achievements App – Snap the achievements you're working on to your screen in order to track progress, see who else has unlocked a particular achievement, and check the new Achievements landing page for expanded views of your in-game accomplishments
  • Friends section – Keep up to date with your Xbox Live friends by checking their recent activities or checking the Gamerscore leaderboard.
  • Media Player DLNA and MKV support – Microsoft has added the ability to stream media from a PC or other home computer to Xbox One. "You will be able to easily access and play music, watch photo slideshows or movies stored on home media servers and devices that support the DLNA server protocols."
  • Live TV Trending – Watch what everyone else is watching with a new tab in the OneGuide for live TV that offers the top 10 most watched TV shows.
  • Xbox One Digital TV Tuner – A new accessory will allow Xbox One users in international territories to watch TV on their consoles and pause live TV for up to 30 minutes.
  • Stream TV to SmartGlass – This is a straightforward way to watch TV in a very roundabout way. Xbox One owners will be able to stream TV to their smart phones through the SmartGlass app.
  • Live TV MiniGuide – A smaller guide that rests on the bottom of your TV screen and offers the option to change channels or read about what you're actively watching.
  • 12 new countries will get OneGuide support in the new update.
  • Internet TV Apps – Television providers in certain markets can add their own apps to Xbox One's OneGuide interface.
  • Universal Remote Control in SmartGlass – The 12 countries getting OneGuide support will also get the ability to use the Xbox SmartGlass app to control the Xbox, TV, and Cable or Satellite box.
  • Updated Devices & Accessories page – This section allows users to more easily assign accessories like headsets to controllers.
  • Firmware updates – "You can update the firmware for an individual device. And, you can also more easily find (or identify) a controller by making it vibrate."
  • Hide Games & Apps on your console