Microsoft has provided a preview of what we can expect in the July 2014 System Update for Xbox One. And key among the new features is a Snap Mode support for Achievements, so you can see how you're progressing as you play a game.
Before getting to the details, it's important to know that Microsoft has recently realigned its Xbox business to ensure that it is delivering exactly the features that its fans want. And as part of this ever-formalizing new strategy, the firm has launched an Xbox Feedback site on User Voice, similar to previous efforts for Windows and Windows Phone. It will use this site to make sure it's in touch with the features users want most, so if you have ideas or complaints, let them know. (And you know you have both.)
Regardless of Xbox Feedback, Microsoft has in fact spent much of the past year listening to its Xbox customers. And in recent months, it's been providing early peeks at each monthly Xbox One System Update, while supplying those updates early to a group of testers so that they can get some external feedback.
On that note, the July update will head out to the general public in July, obviously. But those who are testing the updates will get it in the next few days.
Here's what's coming.
Snap mode for Achievements. This looks like a neat feature: You can snap the Achievements screen for the game you're currently playing and track your progress towards achievements in real time without ever leaving the game. And you can even move achievements you care about the most to the top of the list to keep an eye on them, and get help with those difficult achievements.
Snap double-tap. When you double-tap the Xbox button on the controller, the Snap Center will appear, letting you choose which app to use in Snap mode alongside the current game or app. If you're already using Snap, the double-tap will switch between the main game or app and the snapped app.
Voice control languages. Starting with the July update, you can choose between the available English language models (US English, UK, etc.). And users in Austria, Ireland and New Zealand can choose between available English and German voice models.
Support for game bundles. Microsoft is adding platform support for digital game bundles, which would let developers sell packages of games (and game content) for a single, reduced payment.
Like. Following the Facebook/YouTube model, Microsoft will let users "like" Game DVR clips and activity feed items in SmartGlass.
So this all looks OK to me. But I suspect it will trigger another round of "yeah, but what about [my favorite missing feature]?" complaints.