Previously-announced updates for the Xbox One console and the Xbox app for Windows 10 are rolling out this week, providing new social features, an avatar store, and an Xbox News feed, among other improvements.
I highlighted many of these updates previously, in Microsoft Reveals the First Set of New Xbox One Features for 2016. But it’s a big list, so here’s a quick rundown of the new features.
Updates for both Xbox One and the Xbox app for Windows 10
Avatar Store. The new Avatar Store provides a single place to go to buy new items for your avatar.
Xbox News. Billed as a “one-stop source for all the latest information about new hardware, console updates, game releases, tournaments, breaking entertainment content, and more,” Xbox News posts will be added to your activity feed.
Xbox Accessories app. This is actually a separate thing, but Xbox One and Windows 10 are both getting an updated Xbox Accessories app for customizing the Xbox One Elite Controller.
Trending improvements. The list of trending items (in Community on the console, and on the left in the Windows 10 app) is being augmented with a standalone Trending view
Friends improvements. A new Friend Suggestions area in the Community and Friends views will help you find others to game with, and explain in each case why that person was recommended.
Xbox app for Windows 10 updates
Compact view. The phone-like Compact view now provides additional functions so you can quickly switch between your friends’ view, your party, messages, and activity alerts.
Xbox One updates
Party improvements. Using the new slide-in Guide, you’ll be able to see who is in a party before you join.
Gamerscore leaderboard. The Gamerscore leaderboard has been restored to its former place of glory in Profile, My Achievements. So you can once again compare your performance against your friends.
Pinned items improvements. You can now rearrange your pinned items in the Home view and access them while the console is offline.
Activity feed improvements. Your activity feed will notify you when there are new items to view now.
Hide apps and games. Now you can hide apps and games—like demos, trials, or whatever—that you no longer wish to see in your “ready to install” lists for apps and games.
Easier use of codes in Xbox Store. Assuming of course you believe that entering a 25-digit alphanumeric code with a game controller is easy. Now, you can use a new “Use a code” shortcut to enter retail codes directly from the Xbox One dashboard.
Twitch improvements. Now, you can launch any available Twitch live broadcasts directly from a game’s hub view.
Chatpad improvements. If you use an Xbox One Chatpad, you can now set the X1 and X2 hotkey buttons to perform a custom action (like take a screenshot or whatever).
The updated Xbox app is available worldwide starting today (though remember you can keep up to date with new features by using the Xbox Beta app instead). The updates for Xbox One will start to rollout tomorrow, Microsoft tells me.