In their never-ending quest to improve their latest console, Microsoft has announced a new user interface will be heading to the Xbox One later in 2015. Across five key areas, the "user experience" will be made easier and faster to navigate and borrow a few features from the forthcoming Windows 10 PC update. Let's take a look at what's ahead.
- Redesigned Home screen: An emphasis on your most used content has been placed on the start up screen all users see. You can vertically scroll through your recently played titles and apps, reading deeper information about all of them. You can also watch DVR clips, view achievements, and browse add-ons for games you own. You'll also more quickly discover new content through suggested games and developer
- Redesigned guide: A left-justified guide menu will slide over with a double tap of the Xbox button during games and will include the essentials of social gaming first and foremost. Friends lists, party invites, notifications, and your message inbox will all appear for quick usage, and a new tab left of the Home menu will include these key items as well. It slides over whatever your using without scaling down the game you're playing. What's not yet known is how this alters the usual snap menu on the right.
- Community focus: Your live Activity Feed will now include more content from both friends and developers, as well as a new What's Trending menu to see what is taking Xbox LIVE by storm at any given time. The Friends tab will be expanded into this new Community tab, right of Home, furthering the social aspect of Xbox gaming.
- Avatars: They're coming back in a big way. With a modernized look and increased implementation of our digital selves, we can soon start judging our friends' choice of avatar attire again.
- Cortana: Yes, that Cortana. The eleven Windows Phone owners in the world are already familiar with the idea of having Cortana nearby at all times, but soon Xbox One users will get acquainted to her too. She gets smarter over time and works across all Windows 10 devices like tablets, smartphones, the console and PCs (and she'll even soon be on iOS and Android devices, by the way). She acts as your personal assistant with anything you need in the Windows 10 universe. You can have her search for friends, content, achievements, or accomplish common tasks. She'll respond to voice commands and can be used interchangeably across your devices. For example, you could tell her via your smartphone to set a reminder for you when you next log in to your Xbox One. She'll arrive first to the US and UK this fall with the update and roll out elsewhere over time.
TL;DR: Here's a video showcasing it all.
This whole update, as stated, is due sometime this fall. We'll hear more about it as it draws nearer.