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Microsoft tests a cleaner Xbox One Home screen (again)

It's also trialing Cortana changes that'll go live for everyone in the fall.
Kris Holt, @krisholt
07.24.19 in AV
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Microsoft is rolling out a couple of tests that could change the look of Xbox One's Home section as well as how you control the console via Cortana. Xbox Insiders should be able to check out the updates in the next few days.

It should be a bit faster to navigate through Home thanks to a streamlined interface. Microsoft has axed the Twists at the top of the screen, swapping them out for separate buttons from which you can launch games and other services, such as Game Pass, Mixer, Xbox Community and Microsoft Store. Your recently played titles should be a little more prominent too. Xbox Insiders in the Alpha and Alpha Skip Ahead rings should see the new-look Home as of this week.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is changing how voice commands work with Xbox, shifting to a cloud-based assistant rather than an on-console model. One side effect is that you won't be able to speak with Cortana using your headset. You'll be able to control your console through the Xbox skill in the Cortana app on iOS, Android or Windows, or via the Harmon Kardon Invoke speaker, similar to the way in which you can do so with Alexa-enabled devices.

This change is rolling out to Insiders in the Alpha Skip Ahead ring, and it'll go live for everyone in the fall. However, Microsoft warned the update will temporarily disable dictation via the Xbox One virtual keyboard. It's working on a fix for that issue.

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