Hundreds of New Features Delivered in Xbox One’s First Year

Later this month marks the one year anniversary of Xbox One. As we look back on the year, one of the best marks of progress for Xbox One has been our commitment to delivering continuous innovation. When Xbox One launched, we said we were deeply committed to our fans and our ongoing service updates have delivered hundreds of new features throughout the year. In fact, we launched a new website, Xbox Feedback, to enable us to hear from you directly and let you vote for your favorite ideas. We received thousands of new feature recommendations and more than three quarters of a million votes this past year, and your feedback played a huge role in shaping new experiences on Xbox One. Keep them coming!


Here are some of the most popular new features added this past year, but also check out a recap of the full list of previously announced new features below. You may find a few surprises to help you make the most of your Xbox One. And rest assured, our commitment to continuous innovation remains strong.


  • Custom backgrounds. The #1 fan-requested feature, each account on your Xbox One can have a customized background. You can choose a custom color or achievement art as your background on Xbox One, with more customization options coming down the road, like personalized images from the media browser app.
  • Take system updates when you want. Take system updates as soon as they’re available if you prefer. When the system update is made available, you’ll find the option under Settings, then select System update.

New Friends, Activities and Achievements

  • New Friends section. See at a glance what’s going on with your friends. You can stay up-to-date with your current activities, the most popular games your friends are playing, and a Gamerscore leaderboard to see who has improved their Gamerscore over the last 30 days.
  • Activity feed updates. We added new ways for you to interact with friends in the activity feed. The interface changed to a single column scrolling list that is longer and includes more content. We added the ability to post text to your feed, and to “like” and comment on feed items. You can share game clips and anything else in the feed with friends either publically (to your activity feed) or privately (as an attachment to a message). You are also notified when anyone likes, comments on or shares your items. Each person gets a personal feed on their profile, so you can see what specific friends have been up to. And, with SmartGlass, you can see what your friends have shared to their activity feed and “like” specific posts.
  • A New Achievements App. Updated to enable sharing of achievements you’ve unlocked with captions, see a list of friends who have unlocked specific achievements, and an updated achievements Snap landing page that shows Achievements on recently played games, when a gamer is not actively playing a game.
  • Snap updates. We updated the Snap Center to include quick access to many of the things you wanted faster access to when playing a game – Friends, Messages, Achievements, Game DVR, clock, and battery indicator – as well as making it easier to close and open new snap apps when playing a game. A double tap of the Xbox button on your controller brings up a menu that allows you to open a new app in snap mode, close the current snapped app, or switch focus between your game and your running snapped app.

Second Screen and Accessories

  • Mobile purchase. Using Xbox SmartGlass or on, you can remotely purchase games and Add-on content. No more waiting to begin downloading when you get home – if your console is set to automatically take updates, your console will begin downloading your purchase. And, you can also get Games with Gold and Deals with Gold on SmartGlass, so you can download free games wherever you are to your console.
  • Battery power indicator. We brought back the battery power indicator so that you can see right on the home screen how much juice is left in your controller’s battery. You will also get an on-screen notification when your controller battery is getting low.

System and Game Updates

  • Silent reboot after system updates and system update on demand. If your console is in Instant On mode, the update will happen automatically and return to standby upon completion. This means you won’t need to power on your console after an update moving forward. If you want to take future updates when available without waiting for your console to do it on its own, this option is under system settings. It will only show as available when there is an update to take.
  • Game and app saves and updates. A game save progress bar will show you the status of your game saves. You can easily tell what games and apps are being updated or have been updated recently.

More Ways to Experience Entertainment

  • Boot to TV. You can set your console to boot directly to television when coming out of connected standby.
  • Media Player, DLNA, and MKV support (and more!). A newly added Media Player app supports DLNA streaming so you can easily access and play music, watch photo slideshows or movies stored on home media servers and devices that support the DLNA server protocols. Additionally, you can playback tons of files – including MKV – stored on a USB device or a device on your home network that supports DLNA streaming.
  • Xbox One Digital TV Tuner and Steam TV to SmartGlass. This USB-attached TV Tuner, available in UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, enables you to watch TV on Xbox One, and pause Live TV for up to 30 minutes. If you have an Xbox One Digital TV Tuner, you can stream TV across your home network to your smartphone or tablet using the Xbox SmartGlass app. You can also pause, play, rewind and change channels, without interrupting gameplay.
  • TV Discovery Made More Social. New features were introduced for social discovery on TV, including Live TV Trending, Twitter TV Trending, Xbox TV Trending, and Tweets in MiniGuide.


  • Sound mixer for apps with Snap and volume controls when using Kinect with chat. With the Sound mixer, you can control the volume levels of two apps when you’re using Snap letting you decide which app is louder. In this same section, you can control the volume levels when you’re using Kinect for chat.

Here is a more comprehensive list of the more than 100 new updates we announced details on this year, in addition to the hundreds of additional updates made behind-the-scenes to make Xbox One even better this year:

February Updates

  1. See and manage your storage space
  2. Control your install lineup and more easily manage your download queue
  3. Separate My Games and My Apps lists so you can easily create separate queues for both
  4. Track how much battery life is left on your controller
  5. Support for your USB keyboard with your Xbox One

March Updates

  1. Friends list moved to front and center on the homepage of the Friends app
  2. Party chat turns on by default
  3. Chat with friends playing different games
  4. “Invite friends to game” option available in your multiplayer titles
  5. See a list of “Recent Players”
  6. Twitch live streaming support
  7. Optical out supports 5.1 Dolby Digital
  8. Support for Dolby Digital surround sound over HDMI
  9. Support for 50Hz output for TV
  10. Tailor the number of volume up/down adjustments
  11. SmartGlass updates: Receive notifications of Xbox Live messages, check out what your friends are doing, see their latest highlight clips, and unsnap apps with SmartGlass
  12. Support for new Xbox One accessories: Xbox One Stereo Headset and Adapter, Xbox One Media Remote, and third party headsets
  13. Browser improvements: Direct link to IE, new gesture and controller features for Bing and Google maps, and search improvements
  14. IR blasting of power and volume to TVs/AVRs for all regions
  15. Easy sound bar setup
  16. View Game Clips in Snap mode
  17. Passkey feature to protect user settings

April Updates

  1. Support for 50Hzoutput for Blu-ray
  2. Controller and headset adaptor firmware updates that reduce audio static and improve wireless connectivity
  3. Silent reboot after system updates and system update on demand
  4. Improved GameDVR video quality through compression algorithm improvements
  5. Kinect voice and motion improvements for quality and reliability of Xbox One commands
  6. Game save progress bar shows the status of your game saves
  7. See what games and apps are being updated or have been updated recently
  8. Notifications to see when favorites and friends sign in to Xbox Live
  9. Friends who are in multiplayer are identified in the friends list

May Updates

  1. Sound Mixer for apps in Snap mode
  2. Volume control when using Kinect with chat
  3. Opt-in to help improve speech recognition
  4. Take the next system update when you want

June Updates

  1. External storage support
  2. The ability to add your real name
  3. OneGuide and Universal Remote Control added to SmartGlass
  4. Select an account for automatic sign-in
  5. For Xbox One owners in Canada and Europe, access to OneGuide and more TV, SmartGlass, and voice features
  6. Games with Gold & Deals with Gold
  7. All Xbox Live members can access popular gaming and entertainment apps without a Gold membership

July Updates

  1. Snap Mode for Achievements
  2. Double-tap to launch Snap Center
  3. Choice of spoken language in New Zealand, Ireland, and Austria
  4. Background updates for future digital bundles and compilation discs
  5. Ability to like GameDVR clips

August Updates

  1. Activity feed updates: New ways for you to interact with friends in the activity feed
  2. Mobile purchase from SmartGlass or
  3. Low battery notification
  4. Disable notifications during video
  5. Enabling 3D Blu-ray
  6. OneGuide in Brazil, Mexico, Austria and Ireland
  7. Last seen time in Friends list
  8. Pre-order and pre-download titles

September Updates

  1. Expanded Friends area on Home
  2. A new Media Player app for USB and DLNA playback
  3. Improved Party app with party leader settings
  4. New features for SmartGlass: Post status messages from the Activity Feed and comments, share items from both your Activity Feed and Game Clips, personalized Activity Feed added to your profile, threaded messages, record game clips directly from the Now Playing bar, What’s New page highlighting the features of each release
  5. “Xbox On” capabilities in Australia, Canada (French), Italy, Spain, Mexico and Brazil
  6. Boot directly to television when coming out of connected standby
  7. Manage controllers and other accessories under Settings – Devices & Accessories
  8. Bandwidth Usage shows users how much bandwidth their Xbox One is consuming over a period of time
  9. Choose multiple GameDVR clips to delete at once in the Upload app
  10. Save Avatar Gamerpics to users’ OneDrive

October Updates

  1. Snap Center updated to include quick access to Friends, Messages, Achievements, Game DVR, clock and battery indicator
  2. Friends Snap App
  3. Messages Snap App
  4. Achievements App
  5. See a list of top games in your profile and your friend’s most popular games in the Friend’s section of SmartGlass
  6. Improvements for TV and video
  7. Media Player DLNA and MKV support
  8. Live TV Trending based on your country and OneGuide settings
  9. USB-attached Xbox One Digital TV Tuner available in Europe (UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain)
  10. Stream TV to SmartGlass with the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner
  11. Live TV MiniGuide for markets where OneGuide is available
  12. OneGuide in 12 new countries
  13. Apps with live TV channels include their TV listings within OneGuide and other Xbox TV features work with these apps
  14. Universal remote control in SmartGlass
  15. Live TV initial setup experience
  16. Live TV cable & satellite box auto-detection
  17. Updated Devices & Accessories page
  18. Firmware updates
  19. Find my Controller to easily find (or identify) a controller by making it vibrate
  20. Hide Games & Apps on your console
  21. Password resets and added protection made easier

November Updates

  1. Custom backgrounds
  2. Share your location and bio as part of your profile and select a set of showcase items that are displayed
  3. Tweet about your favorite game clips
  4. Live TV Trending
  5. Twitter TV Trending
  6. Xbox TV Trending
  7. Tweets in MiniGuide
  8. Recents and Favorites in MiniGuide
  9. Store pages on Xbox One improved to quickly browse and find content
  10. Friends’ game activity on SmartGlass
  11. Games with Gold & Deals with Gold on SmartGlass
  12. SmartGlass Store improved to easily find and download apps for your Xbox One, and a Coming Soon filter for Games and Add Ons
  13. Easily snap from a full screen experience and move Internet Explorer into snap mode
  14. Internet Explorer featured sites
  15. My Stats shared in Preview dashboard
  16. Leaderboard added that shows how you stack up against your friends

We can’t thank you enough for your continued feedback and working with us to make Xbox One even better.


  • Ibrahim

    Thanks for nothing Larry, we will remember you balant lies and your finaly flip of the switch when things got ugly


  • Mando44646

    …I’m just waiting on screenshots as I have been since launch


  • Some guy

    I really wish MS used one of those updates to put external storage on the 360.


  • mike kolb

    Yeah I love that my system is improving but all the constant updating is killing my bandwidth cap. Seriously Verizon is ripping people off and I’ve had to cancel my Xbox Live Gold – which I’ve had for 7 years.


    • ImTheMetalLord

      Change your ISP. Verizon sucks.


  • jurrabi

    Call me glass half empty guy, but I would say those where hundreds of features missing from the launch…
    But I shouldn’t complain since my mottos in life are “give yourself space to improve” “never show your best in your first date”…


  • Peter T. Eskam

    What about 4K support? When is that coming?


    • omiaho

      4K support for games, forget about that as this won’t happen. For movies maybe.


  • Tecstar70

    Loving the updates but would also love this idea to be implemented:
    Sign in user as ‘watching’ rather than ‘playing’ if they aren’t actively playing a game
    It’s on the Xbox Feedback site if anyone wants to give their support.


  • Dren

    It is great we got all these new features but I wouldn’t boast about it. It shows that Xbox One operating system was not ready last year. We have now what we should have had from release.


    • Ryan

      I totally agree. These updates are good and all, but for every basic feature that they add, it makes me feel more and more like I paid $500 for a rushed, half-hearted product a year ago.


      • Nick Peck

        But yet it’s worked and played games just fine right? So really, what is the issue? You do know it took the 360 5-8 years or more to get all of the apps and functionality it has right?

        While I do agree that a good chunk of apps / functionality should have been there day one, whats it really matter at this point? Everything has worked on it just fine. The Wii U and the PS4 have been missing a ton of the same things since their launches as well. It’s just how it is.


      • Ryan

        In the first part of your reply, you are arguing against something I never said. I don’t have any problem with how my console is doing or how it works. I love it. I just don’t like the fact that the Xbox One is just now getting features that the Xbox 360 has had for a while.

        Like you said, the 360 took 5-8 years to get the functionality it has. That makes sense – every company should come up with new ideas to improve their products over time. But the Xbox One is the follow-up to the 360, so I think it doesn’t make sense that the One would lack some of the basic stuff from the 360. Simple stuff like seeing a notification when a friend comes online, and being able to customize the dashboard background.

        These updates aren’t building on anything. They are backtracking to cover their bases.


      • omiaho

        Basically the source code of the Xbox One operating system was quick copy and paste coding from Windows Phone 8 operating system. Complete wrong operating system used for Xbox One. It should have had it’s own unique operating system with it’s WOW factor. However the operating system is just dull.

        Microsoft just alienated their entire customers. Majority people don’t like Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 so why would you put a Windows Phone 8 look a like operating system into the Xbox One in the first place?

        The Xbox One dashboard I find it slow, boring and certain will just lag when exiting apps and launching an app very quickly.
        The Xbox One should have had all the features of Xbox 360 during first launch. It clearly shows the Xbox One was rushed and Microsoft are doing everything to get customers on to their side.

        I have to give credit where it’s due and that has to be Sony, from a software point of view they nailed the dashboard on the PS4. Microsoft need to take note from that and revamp the entire Xbox One dashboard. Sony are not a software company and this is where they outshined Microsoft (yet they are leader in software).

        These so called VIP at Xbox don’t have a single clue what there doing. Majority of them I think personally need sacking.
        The major downside was the locking of hard drive. Xbox 360 hard drive was upgradable. Xbox One is locked. It ain’t no rocket science. Games can be up to 50GB and have to be installed so why on earth would you lock the hard drive in the first place? Yes, I know there is external hard drive support but why not allow people to upgrade the hard drive. I don’t like having separate hard drives.

        Personally what needs to be done is a new version of the console “Xbox One S”;
        – Slim
        – Hard Drive Support
        – Revamped Dashboard (WOW factor)
        – Remove Gloss Plastic
        – 1TB Pre-Installed
        – Design
        – Vertical Orientation Support
        – Backwards Compatibility
        Sick & tired of these definitive edition games
        – User login screens (like Xbox 360 on boot-up)
        – Get rid of Kinect (Pointless)

        Finally the digital prices are ridiculous. You might as well just get rid of digital downloads. They cost more than actual physical game discs (United Kingdom).


  • Ryan

    These updates just randomly appear on my console and I have no idea when they’re there. I have to just stumble across the new features. I wish there was something that popped up to tell me that it’s updated.

    And stop talking about the November update like it’s already happened. The Update Preview program does not count…


    • ImTheMetalLord

      Turn off auto update. Then you can control when the update happens and look up what changes come with the update.


      • Ryan

        But how would I know when the update is ready? Major Nelson acts like the updates are already available for everyone, ignoring the fact that some people aren’t in the preview program…


      • ImTheMetalLord


        where I typed the word DOT put dots there instead.


      • Nick Peck

        No he doesn’t’ act like everyone can get them right now, which is why he always states “later this month” or the like for those NOT in the program. Just because people don’t read all of the words in front of them is not his or anyone else’s fault.


  • Scott Johnston

    1 year and still no wireless headset awsome achievement.


  • omiaho

    I welcome all these updates however the crucial point that Microsoft seem to be blind about is the awful dashboard. The Xbox One is clearly not a Windows Phone 8 so why on earth is the dashboard like that for?
    The design is awful, the usability is crippled. Use a code feature is friggin hidden in the store section. Why not add this somewhere else where it’s much easier and quicker to find without the need of voice recognition. Entire tiles are just cluttered and feels horrible. Look at the game store, the way the tiles are set it just make everything look awful. Another problem is the achievements app. Why on earth do you need huge tiles? It just makes scrolling through achievements bad and finding a certain achievement take a longer time.

    The dashboard needed to have it’s own WOW factor not some simple cut and paste coding from Windows Phone 8 source code. It just shows the lack of thinking or effort gone into the design of the dashboard.

    However I am disappointed that Microsoft failed with regards to the software side yet they are a leader in software. I have to say Sony have done a far better job on their dashboard even though there not a software company!

    IF you Major Nelson or any Microsoft staff is reading this. Please change the dashboard. This crippled dashboard has got to. The dashboard needs a major revamp!
    Personally Microsoft just need revamp the entire dashboard and add all the features that the gamers are requesting.


    • Mitchell Hall

      You’re nuts. The xbox one dashboard is amazing.. and every xbox gamer I know loves it… so you’re definitely in the minority. So no, they won’t be changing it. Thankfully.


  • Guest

    Please make more white Xbox One console bundles for this Holiday MS. The Sunset Overdrive bundles are getting sold out almost everywhere.


  • Sam

    How do I change my background stuff?


  • Philip Burchell

    Is it Microsoft descision to keep us in the dark over GTA V digital download ? sorry its off topic but nowhere on the internet can I get an answer ! Larry please help clear up this matter, at the moment sony has the jump on you guys !


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