The Xbox One April Update is live tonight and with it brings a bevy of new features. Some of the new features in the April update continue to bring the Xbox One on par with its predecessor as well as the PlayStation 4 such as friend notifications and save progress. Other updates are improvements to existing systems such as the Kinect and Blu-ray updates. While this update is the not the DirectX 12 update we recently reported on, these are still welcome changes.
Major Nelson detailed the list of updates and improvements to the system on his blog.
— Larry Hryb (@majornelson) April 15, 2014
The biggest update on the list was also the most requested feature; the return of sign-in notifications for friends when they come online. A feature that was common on the previous generation of consoles including the new PlayStation 4, the Xbox One did not have any notification system in place to inform the user when their friends signed into Xbox Live. 6 months after the system’s launch, the April update gives gamers more social interactivity.
The Kinect also receives some functionality upgrades is the April update. The Kinect update includes improvements to “the gesture functionality to reduce false positives on non-hand objects triggering gesture commands.” Translated, this means the Kinect should be able to better identify what is actually your hands.
Many outlets such as Polygon’s Ben Kuchera have been frustrated at the Xbox One’s Kinect with its lack of technical prowess. Mr. Kuchera specifically called out situations where people eating while watching TV would cause the Kinect to think the user wanted to pause the movie or TV show. Even for myself, I host Walking Dead parties every Sunday night when there is a new episode and I had to disconnect the Kinect during these parties. When anyone moved, it would bring up the overlay and before I could close it, my guest would have inadvertently changed the channel to The Food Network. Needless to say this was not a welcome programming change. Hopefully the updates to the Kinect will fix these issues.
The Xbox One April update isn’t limited to the console either as the controllers and headset adaptor are receiving firmware updates yet again after the last firmware update prior to the release of Titanfall. This new controller and headset adapter firmware update will reduce audio static as well as improve the connection between the Xbox One.
The other update worth mentioning is the silent reboot feature. Until this time, if an update was released for the Xbox One, the user would be greeted with the “Updating….” screen upon turning on their console. Now the console will download and install the update automatically as long as your Xbox One is in “Instant On” mode much like the PlayStation 4 does while in Standby Mode.
It is good to see the Xbox One making strides with the April Update. While many of these features arguably should have been in place since the console’s launch, it is always better late than never at all.
Image Source | Microsoft