Microsoft began rolling out the May update to the Xbox One on Monday. The focus of this update is on communication, as some requested improvements to party chats and messaging. Xbox One SmartGlass app users are also given more control over the console.
The May update is deploying now to Xbox One consoles around the world. It may not be quite available yet for you, but you can force your console to check for it by going to Settings, System, and clicking the “Update Console” option.
The ability to send voice messages on the Xbox One has been strangely absent since the console’s release last November. That oversight is corrected and, even better, voice messages can be sent between the new console and the last-gen Xbox 360 so that you don’t lose touch with friends that haven’t upgraded yet.
— Larry Hryb (@majornelson) May 11, 2015
The inclusion of dedicated servers for party chat is also a “happy to see” feature. NAT restrictions made the party chat system hit or miss for some Xbox One owners and the new dedicated servers should help resolve those issues. This feature isn’t fully implemented yet, but those parties that run into NAT issues will be automatically move the party chat hosting to dedicated servers.
The Xbox One can now be turned on and off with the SmartGlass apps for Windows 10, iOS, and Android. Note that this only works when the console and the device that SmartGlass is running on are on the same home network and the console is in standby mode.
Microsoft and Xbox One have come under some criticism for the amount of power that the console uses. That can be changed at any time during the settings, but the May update also makes the different power options a more prominent piece of the initial setup process.
Here are the complete update notes for the Xbox One May update posted by Xbox Support.
- The ability to send and receive voice messages from the Xbox One messages app is being made available to all customers.
- Compose and play back voice messages in the messages app when snapped on Xbox One. Access the messages app quickly through a quick double-tap of the Xbox button and select Messages. After selecting who you want to chat with, select the Microphone icon to enter the voice messaging menu.
- Voice messages can be exchanged between Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles.
Power on/off from Xbox One SmartGlass
- The versions of the Xbox One SmartGlass apps for Windows, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android are being updated to let you power your Xbox One on and off when your devices are on the same home network as your console.
Dedicated servers for party chat
- Xbox is introducing dedicated party chat relay servers to help solve the issues around NAT traversal that have prevented some people from being able to use party chat.
- The party chat system will monitor the NAT types of users in the party. If conflicts arise due to Strict or Moderate NAT types, the system will automatically move the hosting services to the Xbox cloud in an attempt to resolve the NAT type conflicts. For information on NAT types, go to Network settings on Xbox One.
User-selectable power mode
- The initial setup experience on Xbox One worldwide has been updated to enable users to select their preferred power mode.
- Instant-On mode uses slightly more energy but has faster startup, enables use of the “Xbox on” voice command, and receives background system, games, and app updates.
- Energy-saving mode uses less energy by shutting down the console completely, requiring you to press the Xbox button on your console to start up your Xbox One. This will create a slower startup time, and your experience will be interrupted for system, games, and app updates.
[Image via Xbox YouTube]