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Feedback from our fans is important to all of us here at Xbox, and one of the more popular places to give feedback is through the Xbox Preview Program. Since the program launched in February 2014, your feature requests, ideas, and millions of votes have helped shape and improve your Xbox experience for the whole community. We’re happy to share news about what’s next for the Xbox Preview Program, including some improvements and more ways for fans to help shape the future of Xbox.

The first change is that the Xbox Preview Program is becoming the Xbox Insider Program. This new name reflects how we are expanding to offer opt-in opportunities to provide feedback on Game and App Previews alongside System Update previews.

Next, we have an update to the Xbox Preview Dashboard that has been rebuilt from the ground-up based on fan feedback. A few highlights include:

  • A new name – the Xbox Insider Hub
  • Personalized to give you more relevant announcements, quests, and Insider content opportunities to get early access to select games and apps
  • A new UI, inspired by the New Xbox One Experience, makes it easier to find the right info and provide more robust feedback
  • The Xbox Insider profile card where your contributions in the program come front and center
  • Support for multiple users on a console to participate and provide feedback

We’re starting to roll these changes out today to a small number of preview members who have provided the most feedback since the inception of the Xbox Preview Program. If you have your Xbox One console in Instant-on mode and you have the Xbox Preview Dashboard app installed, then you don’t have to do anything – the app will update automatically overnight. If you want to see the changes sooner, you can check for updates by going to My games and apps, and then looking at the updates section. Over the next few weeks, all existing Xbox Preview members will get access to the new Xbox Insider Hub.

Our final change is that the Xbox Insider Program will soon be open to all Xbox users. More fans will have the ability to provide feedback directly from their Xbox One consoles. The Xbox Insider Hub will provide great opportunities to try out games, apps, and other console experiences. Note that Xbox system updates will currently be limited to those already testing them (not open to new members), as we still have a huge number of volunteers already doing a great job testing and providing feedback. For more detailed info, check out the Xbox Insider Program FAQ located here.

Whether you’re an Xbox Insider who enjoys previewing the latest Xbox One system updates, or an Insider who loves checking out the beta of the latest installment in your favorite franchise, you’ll now get to choose how to participate. We hope you enjoy the new experience. Be sure to let us know what you think by taking surveys in the Xbox Insider Hub, or on the Xbox.com forums. Thank you for participating, and know that each of you is a huge part of making Xbox a great place for all of us to play!

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Last month, we released Clubs and Looking for Group on Xbox Live to Preview members on Xbox One and the Xbox app (beta) to give you more choice in how you play and who you play with. Today, we’re starting to roll out even more features to Preview, including Arena on Xbox Live, special updates to Achievement Rarity and Looking for Group! Big thanks to Xbox fans for sharing your thoughts – your feedback continually inspires us to make Xbox the best place for gamers.

Now, here’s a bit more on the new features rolling out to Preview members on Xbox One and the Xbox app (beta):

* Arena on Xbox Live: Beginning today, Arena launches to Preview on Xbox One with the pilot title and legendary fighting game, Killer Instinct. During Preview, you can look forward to competing in daily Killer Instinct tournaments across Xbox One and the Xbox app (beta) on Windows 10 PC. For the initial roll out, Arena will only be accessible to Preview members through practice tournaments on Xbox One in the U.S., with plans to add additional features and expand to the broader Preview audience later in October. To start competing, all you have to do is register on the Tournament tab in the Killer Instinct Game Hub. We’re really excited about the potential of Arena and eager to hear your thoughts as we evolve it and make eSports more accessible for gamers everywhere, regardless of skill-level.

* Achievement Rarity: You might have already seen some buzz about Achievement Rarity from @XboxQwik and me. If you missed it, Achievement Rarity, a top fan request on Xbox Feedback, launched to Preview a few weeks ago. Now, you’ll be able to discover just how unique an Achievement is among players of a given game and celebrate the Achievement itself with a special notification and diamond icon highlighting it. Unlock one today and let us know how you like the new animation!

* New Looking for Group (LFG) Features: Starting today, you will be able to create LFG posts for future gaming sessions – up to seven days in advance! Additionally, based on your feedback, you can now create LFG posts directly in a Club and control who sees them: just members of the Club or everyone on Xbox Live. When creating LFG posts, you can also note what language the party will be speaking and filter your LFG searches based on the language.

* Group Messaging on Xbox Live: Last week, we launched Group Messaging on Xbox One and the Xbox app (beta) on Windows 10 PC. Group Messaging helps you coordinate and keep in touch with your friends and fellow gamers by sending a single group message to everyone in the group. You can also add people to the group and dynamically change the conversation topic. Group Messaging will soon work across the Xbox app (beta) on iOS and Android devices.

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Based on your feedback, we will continue to roll out updates to Preview in the weeks ahead. Keep on the lookout for improvements to existing features and new features – coming to gamers across Xbox One, the Xbox app (beta) on Windows 10, iOS and Android devices.

These features and more coming to all Xbox members later this year.

Enjoy the latest updates and keep the feedback coming!

On the heels of Xbox’s summer update, the team and I are thrilled to announce Clubs and Looking for Group (LFG) on Xbox Live will start rolling out to Preview members on Xbox One today and on the Xbox app on Windows 10, iOS, and Android devices soon. As we shared at E3, we have been working hard to deliver new features that bring more choice in how you play games, which includes Clubs, LFG, and Arena on Xbox Live. While you can start enjoying Clubs and LFG today, you can look forward to more news about Arena, our online tournaments platform for gamers of all skill-levels, in the coming weeks.

As gamers ourselves, we know how important the playing environment is to enjoying the games you play. We want to give you access to more people to play with as well as choice in how you play. Clubs, LFG, and Arena support our vision for uniting gamers across devices and fostering a welcoming experience on Xbox Live where everyone is included, respected, and supported.

Here is a little more about Clubs and LFG – two great new social destinations that will improve your gaming experience – as well as a glimpse into other features starting to roll out today and in the coming weeks.

Clubs on Xbox Live

Clubs are gamer-created and managed groups that can help you meet people and grow communities of gamers who love the same things you do. Anyone can join or create a Club and you’ll probably see a Club for just about everything. For example, I created a Club for all my college buddies so we can keep in touch and coordinate competitive Halo gaming nights.

As a Club member, you’ll be able to set up parties, play games, share content, and easily communicate using voice and text chat with the Club across Xbox One and the Xbox app. You can search for Clubs (or create your own) in the Community tab on Xbox One and the Clubs section on other devices, and Clubs associated with a game will be accessible in the title’s Game Hub. As a Club admin, you’ll have the tools to ensure that everyone is having a great time and help create a lively and inclusive environment. Reserve your Club name today as no two can be the same!

Update 01

Looking for Group (LFG) on Xbox Live

LFG helps you quickly find other players that you want to game with. It’s like posting a gaming “want-ad” to the Xbox community. Need to do daily quests or on the hunt for certain achievements? We have you covered – just create a LFG post. You’ll be able to add certain requirements to make sure that you’re finding the right gamers. You can specify the game, the game mode, how many people you need, rules like no trash talking or casual friendly, and any other in-game requirements like level, gear or character type.

A quick primer on how LFG works: gamers can browse open LFGs and request to join the ones that they’re interested in. The LFG host chooses from the list of gamers who have expressed interest and, once the group is full or the host is ready, the host can quickly get those people into party chat and start playing. Quick, easy, and simple. Whether you’re playing a FPS on Xbox One or your favorite PC title, you can quickly find other gamers to play with on Xbox Live. As with Clubs, Preview members will start seeing LFG on Xbox One today and on the Xbox app in the coming weeks.

Update 02

In addition to Clubs and LFG and on Xbox Live, we’re also pleased to share that Preview members can start enjoying a few other features starting today:

Gamerscore Leaderboard. The Gamerscore Leaderboard on Xbox One and the Xbox app on Windows 10 devices is faster and more reliable. The Leaderboard also now resets at the beginning of each month instead of displaying results for a 30-day rolling period, meaning you and your friends will have a clean slate to compete against one another at the start of each month! You can keep an eye on the Gamerscore Leaderboard through the Achievement tab or by using the guide.

Update 03

Emojis for your Xbox One virtual keyboard.  Emojis will be joining your virtual keyboard on Xbox One! In addition to the existing alphabet and symbols that you can use, you’ll now be able to express your likes, dislikes and more with a host of different emojis on Xbox Live. Once on your virtual keyboard, you can get to emojis by pulling the right trigger until they show up. From there, press and hold on an emoji and you’ll get more versions of the one you’ve selected.

Whether you’re playing on an Xbox One or using the Xbox app, we’d love to hear what you think; be sure to let us know at Xbox Feedback! Stay tuned for more details about Arena and additional features like Achievement Rarity (ever wondered how truly epic an achievement that you earned is?) as we continue to bring more features to Preview and march towards our exciting holiday update.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Mike Ybarra, Director of Program Management for Xbox, to discuss the Xbox One system update releasing to Preview program members this week and the Xbox App update that will follow in a few weeks. Watch the interview below and read details about the update from Mike.

Last November, we transformed Xbox One to make it faster and more social with the New Xbox One Experience, and since then we’ve been delivering regular fan requested features and updates. Expected this week, we’re releasing into Preview a summer update that will start to rollout to our Xbox Preview audience for Xbox One, and in the coming weeks we’ll release it to the Xbox app (beta) on Windows 10. New features will rollout to the Preview audience in waves, not all at once. We’re really excited about this update as it lays the foundation to bring together more people and more games across devices through Xbox Live.

Starting this summer, Xbox One and the Xbox app will receive the first of two updates that will help you stay connected with friends on Xbox Live and enjoy even more games across your favorite devices. Cortana will come to Xbox One; the Xbox and Windows Stores will start to become unified; we will begin to introduce your top PC games with Game Hubs to Xbox Live, and more. These updates are crucial to giving our fans around the world a great gaming experience wherever and whatever they play.

Here are some of the features that are expected to start to rollout to Xbox One Preview this week, and the Xbox app (beta) in the coming weeks:

 Xbox One

  • Cortana on Xbox One: Cortana is coming to Preview in the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Spain first, and gamers can expect the familiar Cortana experience found on other Windows 10 devices. Cortana voice commands on Xbox One will work with both headsets and Kinect. You’ll be able to use Cortana to find great new games, see what your friends are up to, start a party, accomplish common tasks, turn on your Xbox One if you’re using Kinect, and more. We’ll continue to build Cortana features over time and our vision is to use Cortana to help elevate your experience as your personal digital assistant for gaming. Just say “Hey Cortana” or launch the app to get started!

CortanaParty

  • New Game Collection: We’re updating the Game Collection interface to make it faster and easier to find and launch the games you’re looking for. Now you’ll be able to see more of your Game Collection, quickly access your own ‘Ready to Install’ tab, and get more information about titles in your queue. 

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  • Facebook Friend Finder on Xbox One: Facebook Friend Finder is expanding from the Xbox app to Xbox One and is a great way to find and add your Facebook friends on Xbox. As more gamers link their Facebook and Xbox Live accounts, you’ll start seeing more suggestions for Facebook friends to add and game with on Xbox Live.

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  • Improved sharing on Xbox One: We’ve made it easier to share your screenshots, GameDVR clips, and achievements on Xbox One. Gamers can now share their most epic clips and captures with the community in fewer steps.

Xbox app and Windows 10 gaming

  • Edit and share GameDVR clips on any video editor: Create that perfect gaming montage with your favorite video editor with clips you recorded on either Xbox One or your PC. Once you’re finished editing, you’ll be able to upload the clip back to Xbox Live through the Xbox app. 
  • Updated GameDVR management: You can now manage your captures straight from your profile. This new destination allows you to share, start your own uploads, and see progress in the queue. 
  • 60 fps game clip recording with the Game bar: Using the new “Very High” video quality setting in the Xbox app, you will be able to record your game clips in up to 60 frames per second (in addition to 30 frames per second) easily, all from the Game bar (Windows + G). 
  • Share to Twitter from Xbox app: In the Xbox app, you’ll be able to share game clips and screenshots from Xbox Live to Twitter through the sharing options on each capture. 
  • Windows Game bar improved full-screen support: One of the most common requests we see for the Windows 10 GameDVR feature is the ability to use the Windows Game bar with more games running in full-screen.  We’ve added support for six additional games in full-screen mode with Windows game bar: League of Legends, World of Warcraft, DOTA 2, Battlefield 4, Counterstrike: Global Offensive, and Diablo III. With those games, you can now use Windows + G to bring up the Windows Game bar when the game is running full-screen. 

Xbox One and Xbox app 

  • Top PC games show up on Xbox Live: We’re bringing the top PC games like League of Legends and XCOM 2 together with the Xbox Live community. Meaning, your favorite PC games will have their own Game Hubs on Xbox Live. Whether you’re on your PC, Xbox, or mobile phone, you’ll be able to see what PC games your friends are playing, share your own PC gaming clips and screenshots with the community, and message your friends on Xbox Live. On both Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, you‘ll also be able to party chat with your friends no matter what they’re doing.

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  • Xbox and Windows Store convergence: We’re starting to combine the best of the Xbox Store and Windows Store to give gamers a single cohesive experience across their devices. On Xbox One, we’ve streamlined the shopping experience to help you find the games you love faster and at the best prices. You’ll be able to filter, browse and search results by genre, read reviews written by fellow gamers – including those voted “most helpful” by the Xbox Live community, easily recognize what titles are on sale with strikethrough pricing in lists, and more. We’ve also added several new channels to help you discover the content you love even faster. On the Windows Store, we’re adding support so gamers can browse and purchase bundles, episodic games, season passes, virtual currency and other game add-ons and DLC. 

New Stores View

  • More personal Activity Feed: Being able to choose what’s posted to your Activity Feed across Xbox One and the Xbox app is a big fan-requested feature. With the new settings, you can now decide what will get automatically shared to your feed. You can now also craft the perfect Activity Feed posts. At the top of your Activity Feed, easily access and choose from recently unlocked achievements and captures, preview what your post would look like, and then share your greatest gaming moments. 

For the update coming this summer, we’re taking the same approach we used for the New Xbox One Experience with an opt-in program to let fans choose how they want to participate. We’ll begin testing a set of features expected this week with an opt-in audience in Xbox Preview. Like all Preview releases, the features are a work-in-progress as we refine them before they launch to the broader community, and some features can stay in Preview for extended periods of time. Additionally, we’re merging the Windows Insider program with the Xbox One Preview program to streamline feedback and updates.

As we continue to evolve the Xbox experience, we appreciate each and every suggestion provided on Xbox Feedback. In just this past year, we’ve released more than 200 new features inspired by fan feedback on Xbox One through our regular updates and the New Xbox One Experience. In the upcoming months, the team will be focusing all of our efforts on the next two updates and won’t be releasing an update every month.

We’re very excited for the Xbox update coming this summer. Keep the feedback coming and thanks for helping make Xbox great! I’ll see you on Xbox Live.

 

majornelson. Larry Hryb @majornelson

majornelson.

More @majornelson on Twitter

This month’s update is all about our continued commitment to listen to all of you and transform the Xbox experience based on your feedback. Today, we’re excited to announce a few features that you’ve been asking for which are coming to Xbox One, the Xbox app, or both. The host of updates include top-voted Xbox Feedback requests such as the ability to purchase Xbox 360 Backward Compatible games on Xbox One and improving social features like Party Chat broadcasting to Twitch. The updates will begin to rollout to the Xbox One Preview audience starting today and to Xbox app (beta) members starting tomorrow.

Here’s what’s coming to Xbox One Preview:

– Purchase Xbox 360 Backward Compatible games on Xbox One: Fans have spent more than 30 million hours playing Xbox 360 games on Xbox One and so it’s natural that being able to purchase Xbox 360 Backward Compatible games on Xbox One ranks as one of your top requests. With this update, you’ll be able to do so! Find and purchase Xbox 360 Backward Compatible games the same way you would Xbox One titles and, once purchased, Xbox 360 Backward Compatible content will automatically download to your Xbox One and be ready to play!

1603 01

– Include Party Chat in Twitch broadcasts: A top voted-for feature on Xbox Feedback, Xbox One Preview members will be able to broadcast Party Chat when using the Twitch app. If you are broadcasting from your console and in a party, you can invite other people to include their chat audio in your broadcast. If a member of your party declines, they’ll still be able to chat in the party; they just won’t be heard in the broadcast. Additionally, as the party leader, you have the option to mute a party member’s chat audio, even if they opted-in. You can also include party members on Windows 10 PCs in your Twitch broadcast.

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– Output your Party Chat to headset and speakers simultaneously: Xbox One Preview members will be able to select their preference for where Party Chat audio is heard: their headset, speakers, or both. To do this, go to Settings – Display & Sounds – Volume.

1603 03

– Customizable Game DVR recording length: Based on Xbox Feedback, it’s clear that fans want to be able to configure the length of their Game DVR recordings. Currently, Game DVR recording is fixed to a 30 second duration. With this update, Xbox One Preview members can adjust the recording length to 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 45 seconds, 1 minute, 3 minutes or 5 minutes. To change the preferences, visit Settings – Preferences – Game DVR & streaming.

1603 04

– Track Achievement progress in the Xbox One guide: We’re making it easier to access your Achievements by including them in the Xbox One guide. In the new Achievements area you’ll find a quick link to see all of your Achievements and you’ll be able to track your Achievement progress in real time directly in the guide, without having to snap a separate Achievements app.

1603 05

– Video playback directly in the Xbox One Activity Feed: We’ve made improvements to video playback in the Xbox One Activity Feed. Xbox One Preview members will be able to play an entire video inline rather than having to leave their feed to launch it. You can even ‘like’ the video while previewing it by pressing X. Preview members will also enjoy new pause, restart, and full-screen playback options, when they do choose to launch a video from their Activity Feed.

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Here’s what’s coming to the Xbox app (beta)

– Gamerscore Leaderboard: In the Xbox app (beta), fans will be able to enjoy the same Gamerscore Leaderboard feature introduced to Xbox One last month. Access the Gamerscore Leaderboard in the Xbox app (beta) by navigating to the Achievements section of your profile. See where you stand relative to your friends by comparing total Gamerscore, as well as the biggest gains over a rolling 30-day period. A Leaderboard for game stats will also be coming to the Xbox app (beta). Visit the Game Hub for a title with hero stats, click on Achievements and see how you stack up against your friends.

1603 07

– Updated ‘Featured’ section: The ‘Featured’ gaming section below the ‘Recently played’ games area has been updated to spotlight games, deals, community events and more.

Here’s what’s coming to both Xbox One Preview and the Xbox app (beta) this month:

– 16-person Party Chat: Last fall, we expanded Party Chat to enable 12-person Parties on Xbox One and the Xbox app. This feature has been very popular with the community, so now we’re enabling 16-person Parties across both Xbox One Preview and the Xbox app (beta) starting today.

1603 08

– Xbox 360 Achievements in Xbox One and Xbox app Activity Feeds: Starting this month for both Xbox One Preview and Xbox app (beta) participants, Xbox 360 Achievements will automatically post to your console and Windows 10 PC Activity Feeds. As with Xbox One game Achievements, the Xbox 360 Achievement graphic will feature a description of the Achievement, the game you earned it from, and the Gamerscore associated with it.

1603 09

– Follow web links and YouTube videos from Game Hubs: Community managers of Game Hubs will now be able to populate Game Hubs with web and YouTube hyperlinks, making the Game Hubs experience even more interactive and engaging for gamers. For Xbox One Preview members, web links will display in a browser via the Edge app and YouTube links will open in the YouTube app. For the Xbox app (beta), links will open in your default web browser. As with any other item in your Activity Feed, you can caption, like, comment on, and share these links.

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– Compare your Avatars: In Xbox One Preview shortly and releasing to the Xbox Avatars app later this month, you’ll be able to compare your Avatar with your friends’ Avatars. You can click through on a specific friend’s Avatar; preview their Avatar’s clothing, accessories and props on your Avatar; and also see how you can purchase or earn the items yourself. Using the ‘Compare Avatars’ feature will help you customize your Avatar leveraging the best of all your friends’ outfits! You can also compare your Avatar with anyone else’s in the Xbox Live community – just select ‘Compare Avatars’ when you are viewing another member’s profile.

1603 11

– Reputation rating interface changes: The Xbox Live community is comprised overwhelmingly of players with positive reputations, and so, the vast majority of profiles are rated ‘good.’ As a result, we are changing our reputation interface to draw attention only to players who have been rated ‘needs work’ or ‘avoid me’. For Xbox One Preview and Xbox app (beta) members, ‘good’ players’ profiles will no longer feature a reputation gauge, however, gamers whose profiles are tagged ‘needs work’ or ‘avoid me’ will continue to feature the reputation flag.

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Thank you again for helping us shape the Xbox experience. Please keep voting on Xbox Feedback for features that you want to see added or updated on both Xbox One and the Xbox app!

Xbox 360 Preview members can now send digital gift cards (available in the US, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK).

Gift - Major Nelson

You can send a gift from the Social twist or the Xbox Guide by selecting the profile of the person you want to gift to and then selecting ‘Send Gift’.  You will be asked for a gift amount and have an opportunity to confirm the purchase.  The gift will be delivered as a token in an Xbox Live message and can be redeemed by the recipient by simply selecting “Redeem Code”.

We’re rolling out a new set of features to Xbox One Preview program members starting today and Mike Ybarra from the Xbox & Windows Gaming Platform team discusses what’s included in this system update. Read his summary below:

Hero Image_Console_Trending Landing Page

In November, we transformed Xbox One to make it the fastest and most social Xbox experience ever. We continue to evolve the Xbox experience based on your feedback and I’m excited to announce the first of a set of new features releasing in 2016.  This month, we’re focused on continuing to improve social features to help you stay connected to the Xbox Live community across console and PC, while bringing these experiences closer together.

Brand new experiences and updates which will start to rollout to Xbox One Preview:

See who’s in a Party: Xbox One Preview participants will be able to see who’s in a Party before joining. When you view the profile of a friend who is in a Party in the guide, you will now be able to see who else they’re playing with. Click the ‘Chatbutton which appears immediately below the user to jump in and see who is in the Party.

Gamerscore Leaderboard: In Xbox One Preview, go to the Achievements section of your profile by clicking ‘View Achievements’ through the sign-in tab of the guide to check out the revived Gamerscore Leaderboard.  Through the Gamerscore Leaderboard, see where you stand relative to your friends by comparing total gamerscore, as well as biggest gains over a rolling 30-day period. Click on the Gamerscore Leaderboard to see the full list of all your friends.

Re-arrange Pins on Home and access them offline: Many of you have told us that you want Pins on your Xbox One Home to be easier to organize. In Preview, you will now be able to rearrange individual pins. We also made Pins accessible for launching when you are offline.

Updating Activity Feed in Xbox One: Your activity feed in Xbox One Preview will inform you when there are new items in your feed. Clicking the link will take you to the top of your feed where you’ll see a run-down of the newest posts, so that you always have the freshest content at your fingertips.

Joinable Twitch Broadcasts: You want it to be easier to watch your friend’s game broadcasts. In Preview, Game Hubs as well as the game tile will allow you to easily launch Twitch.tv broadcasts if friends are broadcasting.

Improvements to Suggested Friends: Looking for people who you might know on Xbox or top content creators to follow? Check out the new Friend Suggestions area in Community and the Friends list in the Guide on Xbox One.  Friend Suggestions include the gamertag, real name (if shared), gamerpic or Xbox Avatar image, and the reason the suggestion was made to you.  Click through from the suggestion to view the member’s full profile and choose to grow your friends list.

Hide games from ‘ready-to-install’ list: Fans asked that we re-enable the ability to hide content like betas, trials, games, and apps that they no longer want to install.  Xbox One Preview members will be able to start using this feature again.

Avator Store_Console_Xbox app

Updates coming to Xbox One Preview and the Xbox Beta app that make gaming on any platform better:

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, both Xbox Beta app and Xbox One Preview audiences will see Xbox News posts in their activity feed to make it easier to stay up to date on all things Xbox.

Improvements to Trending: Across Xbox One Preview and Xbox Beta app experiences this month for console and Windows 10 PCs and phones, 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 inspirational assortment of top videos, screenshots, achievements, and more that members across the community have created or unlocked. Consider friending or following publishers of content that you like.

Suggested friends: In both the Xbox One Preview and Xbox Beta 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.

Across both Xbox One Preview and the Xbox Beta app, January brings the injection of Trending topics and friend suggestions into your activity feed.

Compact mode for Xbox App: With this update to the Xbox Beta app, we’ve moved additional functions to compact mode which will enable you to quickly switch between your friends’ view, your party, messages and activity alerts. A quick click allows you to keep an eye on what your friends are up to, while multi-tasking on your Windows PC!

As we commence our first update of 2016, I want to thank you for your continued support. The Xbox community cast over 6.5 million votes on Xbox Feedback in 2015, contributing to our system updates. 2016 is shaping up to be an even bigger year for gamers and we’re looking forward to bringing you exciting updates to continually improve your gaming experience.

For more information about these new features and future Xbox One system updates, visit Xbox Wire.

At Team Xbox, we want to make it easy to connect with your friends on any device where you play games. This week, we’re excited to start previewing two more ways to expand your social gaming network and share your gaming content with your friends on Xbox Live.

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  • Facebook friend finder: based off of a top requested fan feature, we’re bringing two of your favorite social networks together—Facebook and Xbox Live—and making it easier than ever to find more people to play games and have fun with.

In the Windows 10 Xbox beta app (available in the Windows 10 Store here), look for the Facebook icon in the Suggested Friends area or Settings. Click it to link your Facebook account to your Xbox Live account and start seeing suggestions for friends on Facebook who you can add on Xbox Live. As your friends link their Facebook accounts to their Xbox Live accounts, you’ll see increasing numbers of Facebook friend suggestions, so be sure to spread the word!

  • Record your voice in your Game DVR clips on your PC: Windows Insider Program and Xbox beta app participants can now plug in a headset and narrate their Windows 10 game clips with their own voice using Game bar and Game DVR hotkeys.

 To turn microphone recording on or off for a gaming session, just press Win + Alt + M. Want to turn microphone recording on for all gaming sessions? Go to Game bar > Settings > Audio or Xbox beta app > Settings > Game DVR > Audio. And if you like personalizing your Game DVR hotkeys and want to customize the microphone recording hotkey, do it here: Game bar > Settings > Shortcuts or Xbox beta app > Settings > Game DVR > Keyboard shortcuts.

 Share your Windows 10 Store game clips with voice over commentary to your friends on Xbox Live through the Xbox app or any social network or sharing option on your PC.

Also lighting up in the Xbox beta app today are improvements in the way that gamers can find games and redeem codes. Our goal with these changes is to enable quicker and more relevant access to content.

  • The Store link in the Xbox beta app will now bring you to the Xbox Store—a launching point for browsing and searching for both Windows 10 and Xbox One games. The new interface allows you to see more products at a glance and brings you the latest crop of most popular Windows 10 and Xbox One games, sales and specials, plus your Deals with Gold and Games with Gold games.
  • In the Xbox One section of the redesigned Xbox Store, gamers will enjoy a persistent search box, reducing clicks between searches. Also, when you type in the name or a description of the Xbox One content that you are searching for, the search box will suggest some top matching search results.
  • Once you’ve found the content you are looking for, fans will enjoy quicker and more contextual actions. Own the content already? Click the ‘play on console’ button and kick off a game streaming session. Don’t own the content? Just click on the ‘buy’ button to purchase.
  • Redeeming codes gets easier too! Just like on Xbox One, when codes are sent to you in a message, simply click ‘redeem code’ to redeem. The ‘Redeem a code’ link in the Xbox One section of Xbox Store allows you to enter-25 digit codes right in the app as well.

Check out these new social features arriving in the Windows 10 Xbox beta app today and let us know what you think. Stay tuned for more updates coming to the beta app each month.