New Xbox One Update Hits Friday With Party Changes, App Hiding, And More

Xbox One Microsoft Imagine Bowl Announcement

The February update for the Xbox One is ready to go live. Microsoft announced the latest set of changes that hit the console Friday, February 18, after spending the last month in testing through the Xbox Preview Program.

The update hitting Friday includes a number of new features requested by the community. This includes one that is the return of a feature lost when the New Xbox One Experience was launched plus quality of life style improvements and an update to the Xbox One Chatpad and Xbox Accessories app.

Xbox One will be able to see who is in a Party before joining it. Additionally, you can check view a friend’s profile in the Xbox guide and see who they are playing with and join their party.

Xbox One Party Details
The Achievements section of an Xbox One user’s profile is being updated with a Gamerscore Leaderboard. This compares your score against your friends over the past 30 days to see who has earned the most points from playing.

A pair of welcome improvements has been made to Pins on the Xbox One home screen. Pins previously disappeared if you were offline for any reason, eliminating their benefit as shortcuts to favorite games and apps. Pins will now appear on the home screen even when the console is offline. Users can now even rearrange the Pins to put them in whatever order they desire.

Another fan-requested feature was one actually lost in a prior update. Xbox One owners can now hide the games, apps, beta, trials, etc that they no long want to install. For those unfamiliar, highlight the game or app you wish to hide on the install page and press the menu button on the Xbox controller. This will bring up a menu with the option to hide.

Xbox One Gamerscore Leaderboard
Other changes include an indicator from the Xbox One Activity feed when new items are added. Similar to the Facebook mobile app, clicking a link will take you to the top of the activity feed, where you can see the latest posts.

Another quality of life feature added is a “Use a code” shortcut added to the Xbox One Store on the console. Console owners previously had to dig several steps into the store to be able to redeem an online code.

The Suggested Friends feature also received an update to provide Xbox One owners with a list of people they may know or may be interested in following on Xbox LIVE.

The Xbox One Chatpad accessory for the controller has had a pair of buttons since launch limited to taking screenshots and recording video. The February update allows users to program the X1 and X2 buttons on the Chatpad. Owners will need to plug the controller into the console with the Chatpad attached and navigate to the “Devices & accessories” of the console settings. Select the controller and then you will be able to change the default settings for the two buttons.

Meanwhile, the Xbox Accessories app has been updated with more options to configure the Xbox Elite controller. It is now easier to see how each button is mapped on the screen and tweaks have been made to the thumbstick sensitivity adjustments.

Xbox One Elite Controller Settings
The Xbox One app for Windows 10 PCs and devices also received an update today, ahead of the Xbox One update. It includes a new compact mode along with the following changes that will also hit the console.

  • Avatar Store: Equip your avatar with the latest avatar items in the newly-integrated ‘Avatar Store’. On the console, the Store is built right into the Xbox Avatars app and on Windows 10 PCs and phones, access the Store through the Xbox Avatars app. Get access to the entire catalog of new and oldie-but-goodie items, including free items. As you’re perusing catalogs, enjoy the ability to preview the items on your avatar real-time before you buy.
  • Xbox News: Xbox News is a one-stop source for all the latest information about new hardware, console updates, game releases, tournaments like the Halo World Championship, breaking entertainment content, and more. This month, on both the Xbox app and Xbox One, you’ll be able to see Xbox News posts in your activity feed, making it easier than ever to stay up-to-date on all things Xbox.
  • Xbox Accessories App: New updates to the Xbox Accessories app on Xbox One and Windows 10 make adjusting your Xbox Elite Wireless Controller easier. As soon as you open the app, you will now see how each unique setting is mapped to your Profile Switch slots in greater detail. There are also collapsible menu options and design updates that let you view all your editing options on one page. Finally, we’ve made improvements to the thumbstick adjustments by allowing you to change the intensity of each sensitivity curve, and also made trigger and vibration settings more visually intuitive.
  • Improvements to Trending: Across Xbox One and the Xbox app, you’ll notice a new access point for Trending items to the right of the Community tab on your console and in the left menu area of the Xbox app. This gets you to a dedicated Trending landing page with the most popular topics across Xbox Live surfaced at the top, followed by an assortment of trending videos, screenshots, achievements, and more that members across the community have created or unlocked. Consider friending or following publishers of content that you would like to see more of.
  • Suggested friends: On both Xbox One and the Xbox app, we’re making it easier to get details on your suggested friends. Starting this month, if you click ‘see all’ or double tap on the shortlist of friend suggestions in any scenario, you will be pointed to a full-screen view of all suggested friends.

What do you think of the February Xbox One update? Sound off in the comments below.

[Photo by Doug Benc/AP Images for Microsoft]