Xbox One had a complete overhaul of the UI recently and changed a lot of features and removed some others. Mike Ybarra, Director of Program Management for Xbox, announced a list of additions that will be added for the Xbox One Preview which will give us a glimpse of what everyone will see coming to the Xbox dashboard in the near future.
The first feature they highlight, which I have greatly missed on the new dashboard, is that they are bringing back the ability to see who is in a party with your friends before you join. It sounds minor but I don’t want to jump into a party to try to play Halo with someone to find out they already have a full group. I can save myself the time of joining a party if I see they already have 4 and are all playing Halo together instead of having to join and see who is there and what everyone is doing. It was a minor annoyance for me but I’m very happy to see it being reintegrated into the dashboard.
A Gamerscore leaderboard is being added back too so you can see who, amongst all your friends, has the highest overall Gamerscore. You can also compare who has the biggest Gamerscore gain over a rolling period that includes the last 30 days. While speaking of friends, there should be improvements to the suggested friends section of the dashboard as well which will also include why the suggestion was made. You can quickly access the suggested person’s full profile right from the list to see if you want to add them to your friends list or not.
As far as the UI goes you can rearrange individual pins on the dashboard to stay better organized and customize the dashboard more to your liking. Another welcomed feature that they will be adding back is the ability to hide games from the “ready-to-install” list of games. You don’t always need to see that everything you’ve ever played on the Xbox One is ready to install. Yeah, I played the alpha for The Division, but I don’t need to see that it is ready to install still since it doesn’t work anymore; it is just making me impatient about having to wait for the full game to come out. Microsoft is also going to make it easier for you to watch your friend’s Twitch stream by adding the ability to launch a friend’s stream from the Game Hub or the game title if they are currently broadcasting.
The Xbox One dashboard isn’t the only thing that is getting updates. The Xbox One Beta app is going to see some improvements as well which include the avatar store being added, Xbox News to keep up with what is going on, improved suggested friends, and improvements for trending items. Additional functionality is also being added to the compact mode for the Xbox app. It will now let you quickly switch between your friends list, party, messages, and activity alerts all with a clean very minimal UI.
It is nice to see them focusing on community feedback and bringing back features that were lost in the last major update. I can’t wait to get home to install the preview dashboard to get some of that much needed functionality back on my Xbox One. Microsoft said that last year they received over 6.5 million votes through Xbox Feedback from the community which helped contribute to the system updates.
What do you think about the upcoming Xbox One Dashboard features? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.[button link=”https://news.xbox.com/2016/01/19/xbox-one-february-system-update-preview/” icon=”fa-external-link” side=”left” target=”blank” color=”285b5e” textcolor=”ffffff”]Source: Xbox Wire[/button]