With the release this week of the November 2019 Xbox One Update, the Google Assistant is now available on Microsoft’s console.
“The November 2019 Xbox Update begins rolling out today and delivers the Xbox Action for Google Assistant, new improvements for Gamertags on console and mobile devices, text filters and even more to help you get the most out of your next gaming session,” Microsoft’s Jason Ronald announced.
Microsoft began public beta testing the Google Assistant on Xbox One back in September, following a July announcement that it was removing its own digital assistant, Cortana, from the core console experience. These changes are part of a broader strategy to embrace the assistants that its customers actually use; Microsoft also supports Amazon Alexa on Xbox and Windows 10 today. I would imagine that Google Assistant support will appear in Windows 10 soon.
According to Microsoft, Google Assistant is available on Xbox One in all countries where the Google Assistant is supported, albeit it only in English. Support for additional languages is coming soon, the firm says.
“You can now interact with your Xbox One in even more ways using just your voice, including the ability to turn your console on and off, launch games and apps, play and pause videos, and more, from any Google Assistant and Home-enabled smart speaker or devices, as well as the Google Assistant apps on iOS and Android,” Ronald notes. You can learn more about Google Assistant on Xbox One here.
Other new features in the November 2019 Xbox One Update include:
Gamertag improvements. You can now use 13 additional alphabets and over 200 more languages in your Xbox Gamertag. Perhaps as exciting, you can now use a Gamertag is that is used by someone else, thanks to the addition of an auto-assigned four-digit hashtag.
Text messaging filters. Xbox users can now filter content that arrives via text messaging across Xbox Live, so you no longer have to deal with foul-mouthed opponents. You can set the filter to Friendly, Medium, Mature, or Unfiltered in Settings > General > Online safety & family > Privacy & online safety > Message safety. And, yes, you can still report violations to Xbox as before.
Mixer viewing improvements. You can now move the Mixer chat experience to the left or right side of your screen or hide it completely. And the Mixer Subscribe button is being updated with renewal reminders one week before an expiration.
Voice-to-text dictation improvements. The voice-to-dictation functionality is now available in more languages, so it works in English (US & Canada), English (India), English (UK), Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Spain), French (Canada), French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese. Microsoft says more are coming in future updates.
Settings UX overhaul. The Xbox Settings interface has been dramatically simplified, condensed, and reorganized, and the most-often-needed options are now surfaced more obviously.
OOBE improvements. Those buying a new Xbox console will benefit from an improved setup process, with the option to customize key features—including language, time zone, power settings, and more—through the Xbox app on Android or iOS while the console is installing the latest system update.
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