Microsoft announced its next-generation Xbox, which they called the Xbox One, during their global unveiling earlier today. Before the company dissected the console for the world to see what’s running under the hood, they highlighted a number of features and services that makes navigating and accessing multiple applications easily.
One of the first features Microsoft unveiled with its Xbox One was its ability to instantly switch between applications simply by talking to the console. Switching between games, live TV, music and movies was all seamless and resulted in the requested applications to become available as quick as changing the channel on a TV remote control.
The Xbox One will recognize a number of new gestures, such as swiping upwards and opening and closing your hands, in order to better navigate the console’s UI. For example, while a movie is running, you can hold your hands up, clench them, and close them together to return to the Xbox One’s Home screen. To return to the movie, just reverse the motion.
Multitasking will be possible now on the Xbox One in its new Snap Mode. Snap Mode can now allow you to open an additional application while another one is running. In Microsoft’s demo, they had Star Trek running while Internet Explorer was opened in Snap Mode, allowing the user to navigate the web while the film continued to run.
A number of new applications were introduced during the Xbox One demo, such as Skype, ESPN. Skype for Xbox One allowed the user to accept a phone call and have it run in Snap Mode while the main application was still running, and all with the power of simple voice commands. As for ESPN, users will be able to view a sports game, let’s say a basketball game, and also be able to keep tabs on the fantasy team while they’re watching their game.
With the introduction of Live TV on the Xbox One, a new Xbox One Guide was also introduced to make it easier for Xbox One users to find, discover and watch TV in an easy-to-use guide. You can issue voice commands to change the channels directly, such as saying “Watch MTV,” or “Watch HBO.” Other voice commands can expand your interaction with the Xbox One Guide, such as the command “What’s on MTV,” which will bring up the guide to show what’s playing on the channel.
The Xbox One Guide will also allow you to keep track of your favorite shows, movies and video on-demand through its “Favorites” category. Not only that, but you can also see what other Xbox Live users are watching through the Xbox One Guide’s “Trending” category, which delivers its information in real-time.