Xbox One April update improves friend notifications, voice commands

As detailed by Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, Xbox Live Director of Programming, the April Xbox update focuses on four areas of improvement. The first of these is Xbox One's GameDVR. By improving compression algorithms, Xbox One users will capture the last 30 seconds of gameplay in better quality video when they say, "Xbox, record that!" Helping ease the process of not just using the GameDVR and other voice-activated features, the update also aims to improve both Kinect voice and motion commands.

Most significant to online multiplayer users, the April update will also introduce friend notifications. Messages will pop up when friends sign onto Xbox Live and users will see what multiplayer games they're playing in their friends list. These changes bring Xbox One closer to the Xbox 360's Xbox Live experience. As with the party chat features introduced in the March update, friend notifications have been a regularly requested feature.

Xbox One's final April interface tweaks are game save and app update status notifications. Saving a game will now bring up a progress bar to show when the save is complete. Users will also be able to "easily tell what games or apps are being updated," though Hryb doesn't expand on how they will be able to tell what's been updated.

Starting Tuesday, potential testers will be contacted through Xbox Live to put these new features through their paces. More testers will be contacted before the update is released in April. In teasing other features for future updates, Microsoft said it hopes to include external hard drive storage support soon.

[Images: Microsoft]