Xbox keeps getting better with more new features coming to preview this month for both Xbox One consoles and the Xbox app on Windows 10. We’re making the Xbox app more social, while also giving you more control over your Xbox experience. Also, this month we are delivering several new fan-requested features to the Xbox One console and Xbox One SmartGlass.
Xbox on Windows 10
Let’s take a closer look at what’s coming to Xbox on Windows 10 with this month’s Xbox app preview and Windows Insider updates from the Windows team. We know you love recording and sharing game clips and screenshots, so this month we spent time enabling that feature on Windows 10.
- Game DVR for PC games – The Game bar lets you record game clips of your favorite Windows games. With an upcoming Windows Insider update (build 10061 or higher), you will be able to record game clips for Windows PC games* using the new Game bar available on Windows 10. To bring up the Game bar, press Windows + G. Click the “Record that” button to save the last 30 seconds of gameplay, or just press Windows + Alt + G. Additionally, you can manually start and stop recording a game clip by clicking on the “Record” button on the Game bar or pressing Windows + Alt + R.
The length of a recording, including the maximum length, can be changed in Settings > Game DVR in the Xbox app. There are also a few key settings within the Game bar itself. Get started by turning on “Record game clips and screenshots” in the Xbox app. Once enabled, there are options for background recording, video and audio quality. After enabling game DVR, you may need to sign out of Windows 10 and back in for the Game bar to appear.
- Screenshots – Take screenshots of Windows PC games by pressing Windows + Alt + PrtScr. Just as with Game DVR, you can also do this by clicking the “Screenshot” button on the Game bar.
- Live Tiles – The Xbox tile on your Windows 10 start menu can now welcomes you back, showing off your gamerpic and letting you know when you have new messages and activity alerts. To turn this on, go to Settings > General > Live tile.
- Avatar app – A new app is available in the Windows Store to customize your Xbox avatar’s appearance and outfit your avatar with a vast collection of items. In the Xbox app, click the icon for your profile or your friends’ profiles to see their Xbox avatar. You can download the Avatar app from the Store on Windows 10. Also, there is a new Avatar sub-forum on the Xbox Feedback site, here.
- User profile – You can see another gamer’s bio, location, reputation, tenure, and other information in the more info page, including their animated avatar. You can also view their showcase items, including favorite achievements or game clips they added to their profile on their Xbox One.
- Real name sharing – Similar to the features we brought you in the March update on Xbox One, you can now choose to share your real name on the Xbox app with all of your friends or with everybody. Click on the “…” at the top of your profile page, then choose Name sharing settings to view and update these settings.
In addition to keeping you connected to your games and friends, we’re giving you even more control over the Xbox experience on Windows 10.
- Xbox One Now Playing and media controls – The games and apps you’ve used most recently on your Xbox One are now displayed when you connect the Xbox app to your console. You can also use the Xbox app to pause, fast forward and rewind.
- Live TV streaming and PIP (picture in picture) support – For preview members with an Xbox One Digital TV Tuner (in 16 European countries and Australia) or a Hauppauge 955Q TV Tuner (available in the U.S. or Canada) attached to their Xbox One, you can now stream live TV within your home from your Xbox One to Windows 10 PC running the Xbox app. This feature is also available in Xbox One SmartGlass on Windows 8 PCs, Windows Phone 8, iOS, and Android devices. The OneGuide on mobile devices now also provides PIP (picture in picture) support, so you can continue to stream and watch TV while you are using the OneGuide.
- Xbox controller drivers – The drivers for Xbox controllers are now included with Windows 10, so you no longer have to download and install controller drivers on Windows 10.
The Xbox app will automatically update to the April preview version when it becomes available in the Windows Store. Once you receive the update, your version number should be 4.4.9014.0 or higher. You can verify the version number of the Xbox app in Settings.
Xbox One and SmartGlass updates
The Xbox team continues to work hard to bring the many fan-requested features on the Xbox Feedback site to Xbox One and Xbox One SmartGlass, with the following items being available to preview members this month:
- Over-the-air TV for the U.S. and Canada – Earlier this month, we announced the preview for an Over-the-Air Tuner for the U.S. and Canada. With this preview update to Xbox One, a new screen has been added after the initial channel scan to show a sorted list of channels and channel logos so you can tell what channels you receive. You can also choose to scan again from this screen, if you want to move your antenna and give it another try.
- Power on and off from Xbox One SmartGlass – The beta versions of the Xbox One SmartGlass apps for Windows, Windows Phone and Android will be updated to let you turn your Xbox One on and off. (Your device does need to be on the same home network as your console.) This feature request has more than 4,000 votes on the Xbox Feedback site. The beta versions can be found in the respective stores by searching for “Xbox One SmartGlass Beta.”
- Wireless Display app – With more than 2,000 votes, Miracast support will be enabled on Xbox One for preview participants later this week, so you can mirror the experiences on Windows PCs (for example, Surface 2, 3, or 3 Pro; Lenovo X1 carbon; Dell Venue 8), Windows Phone 8, and some Android devices (e.g. Samsung S5, Nexus 7, Motorola Droid) that support non-protected Miracast connections. Try the Wireless Display app to cast photos stored on your phone to your Xbox One, or to stream non-protected video content from your PC to your Xbox.
- User-selectable power mode – The team here at Xbox is also altering the initial setup experience on Xbox One worldwide to enable you to select your preferred power mode. Instant-on enables you to use the “Xbox on” voice command and receive background updates to console, game and app updates. Energy-saving mode is a low power state that requires you to press the Xbox button on your console to start up your Xbox One. For additional information, see this post on Xbox Wire.
- Voice messages – The ability to send and receive voice messages from the Xbox One messages app continues in preview this month. Also, the ability to create a voice message while in a party chat will be enabled and support will be added for third party headsets.
Stay tuned for more great Xbox features coming your way on Xbox One and the Xbox app on Windows 10 and don’t forget to let us know what you think at Xbox Feedback.
* Notes: Ensure that you have at least Build 10061 or higher of Windows 10 to use the Game bar. Also, some PC games will block the Windows key and therefore you will not be able to use the Windows key combinations to record clips or take screenshots. In addition, some games run in a full-screen mode that prevents the Game bar UI from being displayed. We are working on a future update that will provide game bar key-remapping as well as supporting the 3-key combination to capture game clips in full-screen mode. Thanks for testing out this initial preview build of the Game bar.