Microsoft released the highly anticipated NewXbox One Experience update yesterday. The latest Xbox One update brings Windows 10 to the Xbox One – the UI is generally a lot smoother and faster, functions are cleaner, and the Dashboard as a whole generally looks a lot better.

What’s in the New Xbox One Experience?

According to Microsoft, the New Xbox One Experience boasts features that are “up to 50% faster” than the predecessor dashboard, which is an incredible improvement, and a complaint many users have had since day one.

So, it’s faster, but what else comes with this new Xbox One update?

Backward Compatibility

Given the incredibly high demand, Microsoft has been pushing very hard for backward compatibility (for good reason). Once your Xbox One has downloaded the New Xbox One Experience update, you should have access to play over 100 Xbox 360 titles – if you already own any of the games on that list, you can play them on your Xbox One right now.

New features like controller button mapping and Game DVR – basically all of the Xbox One functionality – works perfectly well while playing Xbox 360 games, so you don’t have to compromise on using those features for nostalgia.

Social Features – Community, Game Hub

Microsoft has always stated that they’d like the Xbox One to have more of a social hub, and this update brings with it some improvements to help enhance that experience.

As well as improving the speed of the Xbox One’s existing social features – like the guide, Friends list, starting/joining a party, etc. – Microsoft also introduced a Community area, where users can actively engage on content being shared through Xbox Live as they would a social hub.

A game’s Game Hub is now immediately accessible from the dashboard, rather than clicking through to each game you would like to view.

Completely Redesigned Home, OneGuide, and Store

From the Home screen, you need only scroll up or down to find recently-used apps, as well as to the left for the new guide to open up. From there, you can easily sign in, start a party, read messages, choose to snap an app, and so on.

Accessing the Friends list straight away is a huge improvement, and one that really helps push forward the strongest point of the update – accessibility.

OneGuide allows you access to trending TV shows within the Xbox Live community, and the Store now consists of 4 main areas: Games, Film & TV, Apps, and Music. The Store also features a new vertical gallery that makes it easier to navigate, as well as feature more listings per page.

Tips to Keep in Mind

That’s all well and good, but how exactly do you go about taking advantage of all this? Here are some tips on little things you can do to help out in your exploration of the New Xbox One Experience.

  • Pressing the view/menu button on the controller, while playing an Xbox 360 game, brings up the Xbox 360 Guide
  • Button mapping works in Xbox 360 titles
  • Press RT on the dashboard to quickly access your recent games and apps
  • When using the new guide (double-tapping, or moving left from the main dashboard), move up then press on your Gamer picture for quick and easy access to your profile and Achievements!
  • When using the Friends list tab in the guide, if you hover over a friend, press X to quickly invite them to a party (if you’re not in a party already, one will be started automatically)
  • When posting a text post to the community center the poster will have his/her avatar will appear to the to right of the text post box
  • You can make an Avatar Gamer picture using the Xbox Avatars App with the props you bought/unlocked on Xbox 360
  • Hold the Xbox button then press the view button to enable a magnifier. You can use RT and LT to zoom in or out, left stick to move and B to exit!
  • Go to settings > Ease Of Access > Button Mapping to button map (opens the Xbox Accessories app)
  • On the top right of the dashboard, the time and controller battery information will display, and stay put, as opposed to the old dashboard, where they would disappear after a few seconds
  • When using party in the guide you can press Y to mute your microphone and X to mute the party
  • On the Games Store tab click on “Browse All Games” to enter the full game store
  • When on the Notification center in the guide, hover over a item and press X to individually delete them
  • Click the Games With Gold / Deals With Gold box to take you to your Gold Membership Area! (contains details about your membership, Games With Gold and deals With Gold)
  • When disconnected from Xbox Live open the guide then go to settings then you can try to reconnect to Xbox Live without leaving your game
  • Make an image or Achievement art your background (this isn’t a new feature, but just the having plain grey isn’t too appealing, so I recommend you change it if you’re so inclined)

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