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Xbox One gets its first taste of Creators Update features

A preview includes a revamped interface, Cortana tweaks and greater accessibility.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
01.23.17 in AV
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You don't have to wait long to try some of the big Xbox One upgrades that Microsoft has been promising lately. The company is trotting out an Xbox Insider preview update that includes a few of the bigger improvements that will come alongside the Creators Update. Most notably, you'll get a faster and decidedly more intuitive interface. The new home screen is both speedier and will promote the "most valuable content" in your games. You'll have quicker access to the game hub, groups and achievements, too. A refreshed Guide, meanwhile, includes a new home page based on common tasks (such as recent games and pinned apps) and fast access to background music controls.

Some of the more notable upgrades are harder to spot. It's now faster to start recording video clips (you just have to launch the guide and press a button), and there's an achievement tracker that helps you gauge your progress as you play. Cortana can set reminders and alarms for game sessions. And Microsoft's efforts to make gaming accessible are continuing at full speed. A Copilot feature lets two controllers serve as one (helpful for players who can't use every button themselves), while there are further improvements to Magnifier, Narrator, audio output and custom rumble feedback.

Home theater buffs will like developer support for Dolby Atmos (including for headphones) and a beta that lets your receiver decode audio when you'd rather not have the Xbox One do the work.

The preview still leaves out some of the largest upgrades, such as native Beam streaming, Arena for tournaments and further Cortana upgrades. Moreover, don't count on getting all of this right away even if you are an Insider. Only a "small subset" of members will see it right now, and the rest will have to wait for them over the weeks ahead. Even so, this peek at least removes some of the mystery surrounding the Creators Update -- you now know more about what you can expect.

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