If you're an Xbox Insider in the Alpha and Alpha Skip-Ahead rings in the US and UK, you can now start testing out Microsoft's Xbox Console Streaming service, which streams any Xbox One game to an Android device. The prerequisites for the service are a bit restrictive, but going through the steps will let you put in some Gear 5 gameplay during your work or school commute.
We've known since June that Microsoft was working on integrating Alexa and Google Assistant with Xbox in lieu of its own voice assistant, Cortana. With Alexa support already up and running on Xbox One, it's now time for Google Assistant to get in on the action.
Xbox One users, here's a piece news for you on Android Police, of all places. According to Windows Central, you may soon be able to control your gaming/entertainment console with voice commands, thanks to the addition of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support.
Minecraft could be considered this generation's Doom - it runs on everything. Beyond the original Java-based game, there are versions for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, New 3DS, Nintendo Switch, Wii U, PS Vita, iOS, Android, Windows 10, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV. This is made even more confusing by some editions having different features. Minecraft's 'Better Together Update' is the first step in addressing the feature fragmentation and implementing cross-play support.
One of the major problems with Minecraft is the number of different editions, with varying level of multiplayer cross-play. This stems from different code bases - the console versions are based on the original Java game, while Pocket/Windows 10 Edition use the same C++ code base. But the upcoming Minecraft PE 1.2 update, nicknamed the 'Better Together Update,' aims to address this.
The Xbox Smartglass app has been available on Android for a while, letting users control the Xbox's media functions, such as play, pause, and menu navigation, directly through the app. Today, at Microsoft's E3 press conference, the app is getting a big update, being renamed to just 'Xbox' and with features comparable to the equivalent on Windows 10. With the app, you can use Xbox Live, buy games, or watch game content shared by other users, making it the ultimate companion to the Microsoft-made box sitting near your TV.
Updated home – The Activity Feed is the home of the Xbox app
Added Trending content – Find out what's popular on Xbox Live
Facebook friend finder – Add your Facebook friends who are also on Xbox
Contact list friend finder – Use your phones contact list to add friends to Xbox Live
Real name sharing – Be able to share your real name with your friends
Game hubs – Game Hubs now added to Xbox app
Updated profiles – Redesigned user profiles in Xbox app
The banner features of the update are mostly to do with Xbox Live, Microsoft's online gaming network.
Microsoft's SmartGlass app is a smartphone-based manager for the Xbox One, and it gets some surprisingly frequent love from the developers for a product intended for a direct Google competitor. The latest beta version is a significant bump, 2.4 to 3.16, though the changes aren't immediately obvious beyond a few cosmetic adjustments. The new user interface moves quite a few elements around, and if it isn't completely "material" then at least Microsoft is trying to make it look like an Android app instead of a tiny Xbox window.
Microsoft has pushed out an update to the SmartGlass beta app that lets users turn their Xbox One consoles on and off from their Android devices. This way you can start streaming content directly to your tablet without having to reach for a separate controller beforehand.
Microsoft's Xbox One SmartGlass Beta lets owners of the console try out a few new features before they reach the release version of the app. In the latest Beta update, SmartGlass gained two new options that must be exciting for Australian TV fans, and just one for Dutch users.
If you live in Australia, Xbox' OneGuide should now be functional for you. This TV guide shows the schedule for various Australian terrestrial channels, letting users browse the programming for a few days and maybe plan some of their entertainment accordingly. The more interesting news, however, is that Australia is getting the Xbox One Digital HD Tuner, now available for pre-order on the Microsoft Store for AU$39.95 with a release date slated for March.