The latest major update for the Xbox One has officially begun to enter public release, as Microsoft has enabled many gamers to download the console’s summer update, with all owners likely to gain access within the next few days. Microsoft previously announced the new features coming to the system in June, and appear to have made good on their word.
Perhaps the most enticing of the bunch is the long-awaited return of background music, an option enabling users to play their own tracks while gaming that was present on the Xbox 360 from the start, but took a lot longer to reach the XB1. It’s worth noting that for now, only the Pandora app can be used for this, but other services like Groove Music and iHeartRadio will also be added in the future.
Users with a headset or Kinect can also now make use of Cortana, Microsoft’s Siri-like personal assistant software. The app will recognize many voice commands for social functions, powering the system on, and other convenient shortcuts. It seems rather fitting that the service ends up on Xbox, seeing how it derived its name and voice from the iconic Halo character.
Other additions include a revamped game and app library that makes it easier and quicker to sort through your software collection, the option to connect your Facebook account and find other Xbox-playing friends, and additional options for sharing screenshots, game clips, and achievements. Microsoft has also teased at more news regarding the next system update, which will introduce many of the new social features announced at this year’s E3, including Looking for Group, Clubs, Arena, and more.