Microsoft today updated its Xbox Video service and Xbox SmartGlass app. At the same time, the company detailed what’s coming in the next Xbox One update, including bringing TV elements to more global markets and a new option for using OneGuide on multiple devices.
First up, after you rent or buy a movie, Xbox Video now lets you start watching on one screen and pick-up right where you left off on another. While the service is available on the Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and XboxVideo.com, the fine print says this feature is only available on the first three for now. Resuming playback where you left off on Windows Phone 8 and XboxVideo.com is “coming soon.”
As for Xbox SmartGlass, the app is now even better at helping you manage the Xbox One. Here’s what’s new:
- Easily navigate game options so you can quickly get to the full list of Achievements, challenges, and game clips without jumping through multiple screens.
- View recent players to find people you recently gamed with, easily add them as a friend, or issue a rematch challenge.
- Sort the Friends list by online status for a quick view of what your friends are doing.
- View your Activity Feed in a way that matches the view on your console.
- Launch an app in Snap from your mobile device, and when you’re done, simply unsnap it.
- Receive Xbox Live messaging alerts on your mobile device, making it easier to stay in touch with friends when you’re on the go.
Following the Xbox One March update, Microsoft is already readying the next one. While the company wouldn’t say when it’s coming, it did say that it is making some of the new features available to select Xbox Live members (by invite only) in the US, Europe, and Canada.
Those select Xbox Live members will get the following features early:
- An enhanced TV watching experience (already available in the US), which sees TV listings added to OneGuide, alongside Favorites and App Channels. This will work for people in Europe and Canada who have their TV connected to Xbox One via HDMI-in.
- More control over Xbox One, your TV, and set-top box, including setting new recordings and watching recorded content from your DVR, all from a tablet or smartphone. Xbox SmartGlass also adds a new feature to show the most recently-watched channels.
- New Kinect voice commands in Europe and Canada (already available in the US) which let you control your set-top box and other AV equipment.
While this doesn’t mean the next Xbox One update will be all about the TV experience, they will certainly play a big role. We will let you know when Microsoft pushes out these features to all.