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article imageXbox One May update brings new features including voice messages

By James Walker     May 12, 2015 in Technology
Microsoft has released the May update for its Xbox One games console and media hub. It features several notable new features that have been often requested by the community including the ability to send voice messages and turn the console on remotely.
The update can be installed now and is focused on "streamlining" the experience of using the console. The changes were detailed by Major Nelson on the Xbox Wire blog yesterday.
The most-requested feature in the Friends & Parties area of the Xbox feedback site has finally been implemented, pleasing Xbox fans who enjoy talking rather than typing when sending messages to friends. Users can now send voice messages to their friends which will be delivered when they come online.
A new section of the snapped messaging app allows you to record a section of audio and quickly send it to any of your Xbox friends. They will then see it in their normal list of messages and be able to listen to whatever you said. People who have friends who still use older Xbox 360 consoles will be pleased to learn that voice messages can be sent and received between both platforms.
The Party Chat feature has seen some notable improvements. It now uses dedicated servers to handle messages, resolving issues that prevented some users from being able to use Party Chat. The dedicated servers have been in testing with Xbox One preview users since March and will be rolling out across the entire user-base in the coming weeks.
The Xbox One has come under attack in the past for its heavy consumption of power. Microsoft is now making it easier to control how much electricity your console uses by offering a new selection of power modes, presented during the initial setup of the console.
Users will be able to choose an energy-saving mode that disables the console's background update checking and passive listening for the "Xbox on" power command, saving energy by preventing the device from continually listening for your voice.
Additionally, users of the Xbox One SmartGlass app for Windows, Windows Phone, iOS and Android are now able to remotely turn their console on and off from their phone if the two are on the same network. The app update is rolling out now and makes the wireless SmartGlass experience more complete as you can now turn on the console, start playing media and then turn it off again all without actually touching the Xbox.
The update is quite substantial and includes heavily-requested features that will please the community. Microsoft has remained committed to the Xbox One since its launch and has been offering regular monthly updates that include useful new functionality.
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