A few days back, I wrote about the updates to the Xbox Music app and the Xbox Video, Xbox SmartGlass, and Xbox Games apps for Windows 8/RT, respectively. Since then, I’ve gotten a rundown of the exact changes to three of these apps and thought you’d be interested in more details.
Here’s a list of what’s new in Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games ... and now Xbox SmartGlass as well.
Sematic zoom support. Youcan now zoom the view in or out with fingers or mouse to find music in your collection.
View filtering. You can now viewyour collection by what’s on your PC and what's available in the cloud. (This feature is only available in regions with Xbox Music Pass.)
In-app volume control. You can change the app volume from within the app, and separate from the global volume control.
Type to search. I hadn’t noticed this one: As with the Mail app, just start typing from anywhere in the app to trigger a search.
iTunes playlist importing. XboxMusic can now importing iTunes playlists directly. I’ve not had a chance to check this one yet, but will do so for the Xbox Music Book update.
Recent albums. Artists’ most recent albums now display in the top-level artist pages. (This feature is only available in regions with Xbox Music Pass.)
Related artists. Related artists for a given artist are now displayed. (This feature is only available in regions with Xbox Music Pass.)
Edit the Now Playing list. You can now edit the Now Playing list. (For example, a “Remove from list” app bar button appears when you select a song in the list.)
More. According to Microsoft, the Xbox Music app also includes several usability improvements and additional minor fixes.
Better access to info about actors and directors. You can select actor and director names to access search results for those individuals and find more movies and TV shows.
Type to search. As with Xbox Music, just start typing from anywhere in the app to trigger a search.
Rate programs according to preference. Movies and TV shows now support up to five star ratings which you can set (for both store programs and your purchased content).
Sort by customer ratings. You can sort movies and TV shows by customer ratings.
See critic ratings. Select Show more at the bottom of the Reviews pane in Explore to see critics’ ratings.
Search results improvements. There are unspecifiedimprovements to search results.
In-app volume control. As with Xbox Music, you can change the app volume from within the app, and separate from the global volume control.
Download improvements. There are unspecified improvements to downloading
Collection browsing improvements. There are unspecified improvements to collection browsing.
Easily view your purchase history and restore purchases movies and TV shows. Microsoft says you caneasily view your purchase history and restore purchased movies and TV shows. There is a Restore button in Settings, Preferences, but I don’t see a purchase history interface.
More. There are additional minor fixes and improvements
New home panel. Here you can see information about your recent game activity, messages, achievements, and friends.
View and browse screenshots. It’s easier toview and browse screenshots for games
See and send text messages to Xbox LIVE friends. You can see and send text messages to friends over Xbox LIVE.
More. According to Microsoft, there are also general improvements game browsing, game extras and app layout, and additional minor fixes and improvements.
Hope this helps.
Update: I finally got a rundown of the (small number of) changes to the Xbox SmartGlass app as well.
More reliable second screen scenarios. The app has been refreshed so that your device stays awake while you are engaged in a second screen activity.
Updated controller layout. Now the virtual controller display includes an Xbox guide button for more easily discoverable options.
More. Microsoft says the app update also fixes some stability and connection issues.