The long awaited update is out
It's been no secret that Microsoft have been looking to unify all their systems with one underlying OS - Windows 10.
As a long time Mac user, that did make me slightly nervous as we all know how well Vista went, and more recently the horror of Windows 8. (Windows 7 in my book was fine).
So as a huge fan of the Xbox console, I did say a silent prayer to the Microsoft gods to not screw it up. Seriously. Vista was inexcusable but screwing up Xbox would be on a whole other level.
So I decided to wait a little while after running the update to make a comment about it, Tons of other news sites released Major Nelsons screen shots and posts, but I wanted to feel what it was like and how it worked.
The bottom line - I quite like it.
Gone is the Metro interface that was introduced in the 360 and expanded upon in the xbox one, and replaced with something thats still tiled, but not afraid to show curves and circles.
Pins are less prominent, replaced with a mini nav bar down the left hand side of the screen that allows you to easily login (if you don't auto login), access groups, friends, notifications.etc rather than have to scroll right and dig it out in the old interface.
You also have greater customize options. Xbox one's old interface had color schemes and gradients, but not much in the way of changing backgrounds as far as I could see. Something even the 360 had, albeit limited to whatever was within the skin pack you were using. And custom skins made by individuals was pretty insanely difficult to achieve, if even possible.
What I don't like/ miss
- The Snap feature. In the middle of a game, hitting the xbox button allowed you to jump out the game to launch the snap bar. Whilst this was a painfully slow loading module (as the console is predominantly working on keeping the game playing), once it was up and running, it was actually really neat. You could quickly write messages (even quicker if you used Smartglass on your iphone or android), see who was talking in a group, and snap between other apps whilst still playing the game. Cool stuff.
As far as I can see, this option has been removed (correct me if im wrong in the comments - but I couldnt see it when I tried to do it during a GTA heist last week).
- The followers 'view' option within friends has been removed. OK narcassists. The past 10 years of social media dominating our lives has made it interesting to see just who follows you on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and now Xbox. Its a radically moved ideal from the 360 console where you could only enter a players friends list if they accepted you (like Facebook), where you could add someone and see when they are online, invite (but not join) them to a game and so on. It took a bit of getting used to when some completely random player added you in a lobby 'just because' and I got used to it. Its now been removed. Its still available on SmartGlass but how long for is anyones guess (or if it will get added back).
Strangely you do get a popup notification when someone adds you though, but if you dont repond to the popup before it runs offscreen, you're screwed.
Incase you didnt see it, here is the official video from Microsoft themselves with the new xbox experience, Enjoy!