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PSA: Xbox One November update out now - here's what to expect

Jonathan Lester
Firmware updates, Microsoft, Xbox One

The Xbox One November Update is now live and should have automatically installed itself onto your console as you read this sentence. You'll be able to mess about with the new features when you get home, but before then, here's what to expect from the latest Xbox One firmware update and the functionality that has been added to the user experience.

Custom Backgrounds

This is the main event. A new option has been added into the Xbox One settings menu -- My Xbox -- which allows you to personalise your Xbox One with some new backgrounds. You can either select a block of solid colour (boring!), or more helpfully, any of the 1080p achievement artworks that you've unlocked, tarting up the user experience as well as showing off your prowess to any mates who stop round for a local multiplayer session.

Next year Microsoft plans to add screenshot functionality, which will let you capture and display your own backgrounds directly from the games you play.

Twitter Integration

Microsoft has finally embraced the bite-sized social network, integrating twitter directly into the operating system. You can now Tweet about your uploads, perfect for showcasing your Halo exploits or Advanced Warfare skills, while the Miniguide now displays a 'trending tab' about currently popular topics.

US preview members can also access trending information about live TV, while all preview members can access a new Twitter trending tab in OneGuide.

Gamer Profile Improvements & Showcae

Your gamer profile has now been beefed up with the ability to optionally add location and bio details, but the Showcase is the biggest new feature. You can now add six game clips or achievements to show up directly on your profile in a carousel format, letting friends and followers keep track of the feats you're most proud of. These details can be added directly from your console or via SmartGlass on the go.

Speaking of which...

SmartGlass improvements

The Smartglass app now displays recent friend information (such as the game they're playing/recently played), a revamped storefront with easier tabs (including a dedicated 'Apps' section) and a Games With Gold section that lets you quickly find the latest freebies and deals before queueing them up for download.

As a tip, I'd highly suggest using SmartGlass if you're not doing so already. It's a phenomenally handy app, and can turn your phone or tablet into a full A/V remote thanks to Kinect's IR blasting capabilities. It also makes browsing internet explorer much easier.

Store improvements

Now that the Xbox store has a decent amount of content, navigation and discovery has been improved by moving the navigation buttons to the left, while add-ons and recommendations are more prominently displayed.

Other Stuff

  • Internet Explorer is snappable
  • Internet Explorer displays featured sites
  • New Stats section for preview members (in the Preview app)
  • New leaderboards for preview members (in the Preview app)
  • Recents and Favorites in MiniGuide

So there you have it. The December update is likely to be rather small as Microsoft's engineers wind down for the holidays (things will pick back up in the spring), so for now, let us know what you make of the November Update and what new features you'd like to see in the 2015

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