Even if an app is not on your home screen, you can bring it up immediately with a simple voice command.
While Microsoft has demonstrated early versions of the Xbox One user interface and base operating system in the past, previous demos have been carefully choreographed affairs operated completely by company representatives. So I was very excited to get my first actual hands-on (and voice-on) test of the Xbox One's underlying platform at a Microsoft-hosted event last week (even if it was partially guided by two Xbox representatives who sometimes took control or suggested what I should try).
While an hour is hardly enough time to get a comprehensive feel for all of the console's system-level controls and features, I came away from the demo surprisingly enthusiastic about the multitasking and voice control features that I had come in rather pessimistic about.
Voice is the new controller
The most notable thing about my hour-or-so hands-on demo was how little I actually used a handheld controller. Practically every feature described in this piece was activated by saying "Xbox" followed by a simple command. Yes, a similar feature is already available to anyone with a current-generation Kinect hooked up to their Xbox 360, but it's clear that voice controls are much more fully integrated into the Xbox One interface.