Microsoft’s Xbox One just moved a step closer to feature parity with Sony’s PS4 video game console. Late last night Microsoft began rolling out a new system update that brings something Xbox One owners have asked for since launch: the ability to capture screenshots.
Microsoft first revealed the March Xbox One Update this past February. Back then it was only for members of the Xbox Preview Program, a small subset of users who experiment with features early and provide feedback directly to Microsoft. Microsoft revealed last night on the Xbox Wireblog that the March Xbox One Update is now available for anyone.
The number of features that made it into the March Xbox One Update is extensive, but the most high-profile one is the ability to capture screenshots. After getting the update, Xbox One users can simply quickly take a picture of what’s going in their game by saying “Xbox, take a Screenshot.” Users who don’t have a Kinect sensor plugged into their Xbox One need to press the glowing Guide button down on their Xbox One controller twice, then follow the on-screen prompt.
Thankfully, Microsoft didn’t stop at giving users the ability to capture a screenshot. One of the reasons the feature was so important was because users wanted to share what’s going on in their games and apps easily with their friends. The March Xbox One Update address this by adding sharing options into the Upload app. After a screenshot is captured, users go to the Upload app to share it to their Xbox Live Activity Feed and their Xbox Live profile. Today, Twitter is the only social network users can share them too. OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage solution, is also an upload option, but it’s geared towards users who want to get their screenshots onto other PCs and devices seamlessly.
A lot of the other features included in the March Xbox One Update are about fleshing out the experience in key areas. For a longtime, the only way to find a fellow member of Xbox Live with similar tastes was to come across them in online message boards or in multiplayer. That’s no longer the case. This update adds an area to the Friends app called Suggested Friends. There Xbox Live suggests other users you should follow based off whether they’re already a friend or not and other factors. If this feature sounds familiar, it’s because Suggested Friends is already included on Xbox.com and the Xbox companion app for Windows 10.
Party Chat is getting a new set of icons that Microsoft hopes will make it easier to use. Also included is a button for reporting users who are spamming Xbox Live. A new toggle for Voice Search Privacy gives you the option to let Microsoft collect data about your speech patterns anonymously. In the one Xbox One update Microsoft added transparent Live Tiles so that users could see more of the background pictures and colors that were added late in 2014. Now there’s a transparent toggle that lets users set how transparent they want their Live Tiles to be.
Live TV, OneGuide and streaming support for the Xbox SmartGlass companion app are all coming to Australia with the March Xbox One Update.
To get the March Xbox One Update, owners have to do very little. Unless they turned off the low-power mode on their console, the Xbox One will automatically download the update and apply it silently. Users who have turned off low-power mode are prompted to install the March Xbox One update the next time they turn on their console and connect to Xbox Live. There’s a manual update button located in the Xbox One’s Settings app too.