Microsoft has updated its home screen experience for the Xbox One console. The new home layout doesn't have tabs for Game Pass, store, mixer, etc. instead, they are all buttons below the “resume” game tile. On the right, we have access to the “My games and apps” screen making the entire layout more compact and easily accessible. According to the official Xbox website, “With this new experimental Home design, the first thing you’ll notice is we’ve removed the Twists from the top of Home in favour of separate buttons that launch your gaming experiences. The goal is to let you jump into Xbox Game Pass, Mixer, Xbox Community and Microsoft Store quicker than ever. We’ve also shifted things around to make more room for your recently played titles”.
The new home screen is rolling out to select Xbox Insiders in the Alpha and Alpha Skip Ahead rings. This isn't the final design though. According to Xbox, the home experience will continue to evolve and change based on users feedback. So it is possible that we will see some features tweaked or moved around before the final build is released. Xbox says that users “may see this layout change and even come and go as we iterate on your feedback”.
There are some changes to Xbox voice commands. Xbox has said that users can no longer talk to Cortana via a headset. However, the Xbox Skill for Cortana via the Cortana app on iOS, Android, and Windows will still work for commands like powering on the Xbox One, adjusting volume, launching games and apps, capturing screenshots, etc. The same can be done with an Alexa enabled speaker. With memory freed up from Cortana on the Xbox One, it is possible that the UI becomes a little smoother and loads a little faster. In the current UI, there are times when the UI can get quite laggy and slow. Hopefully, this will be addressed with the new home screen update.
A full roll-out of the update for all users will come this fall. There is no exact date mentioned for the same on the Xbox site.
Ever since the launch of the Xbox One, Microsoft has constantly tired new things to update the UI and add new features to the console. Even though the next-generation Xbox is rumoured to launch in 2020, it is nice to see new features being worked upon on the current-generation console.
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