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Xbox July Update

Even though Sony continues to win the console wars almost month in and month out for the NPD charts, it doesn't mean that Microsoft has given up on the Xbox family. Microsoft has actually done the opposite of give up; the company has dedicated more resources and quality content into making the Xbox One better than ever. This is evident with the latest update for the home console, which makes a number of quality of life enhancements to the functionality of games. The July update for the Xbox One actually enhances the load times for some games so that from the time you boot the console up, to the time you download the game, to the time you get into the game itself, everything is done a heck of a lot faster than before.

The news was laid out over on the Xbox News site, which detailed how the FastStart feature has been enabled for the Xbox One, allowing gamers to jump into games twice as fast as before. Once you download parts of the game you can actually take advantage of the FastStart technology and begin playing faster than ever before thanks to new file prioritization feature. This basically makes it so the most essential files are downloaded first and from there players can begin hopping into the game even while the rest of the game continues to download in the background.

Not every game is FastStart enabled, but you can scour the Xbox Store's catalog of software titles and check for the ones that allow you to download them a lot quicker. This also ties into games that are available from the Xbox Game Pass, some of which are FastStart-enabled.

A new game and app grouping feature has been added as well, allowing gamers to group together certain titles within the My Games & Apps page. You can assign custom groups to various games or apps, making it a lot easier to organize your software and access them based on their categorization. So, if you want all your third-person shooters like Gears of War or Fortnite together, you can do that. Alternatively, if you want all your first-person shooters like Halo or Call of Duty grouped together, you can do that. The grouping feature is very similar to the custom categories that Valve made available through Steam some time ago.

The highlight of the grouping feature for the Xbox One is that it syncs to your profile through the cloud, so even if you buy a new Xbox One console or play someone else's console while you're away from home, you can access your game groups once you install your profile to a new Xbox One system.

New search options have been added to the dashboard, so now you can press 'Y' on the Xbox One controller and instantly pull up a search menu to find exactly what you're looking for.

Some modifications have also been made to the Mixer app, enabling improvements to the share controller feature, as well as adding multi-touch support for touch-enabled devices. Another Mixer update includes full-screen broadcasting from the webcam. You can now switch to a full-screen at any time during a broadcast.

For those who have had trouble broadcasting through Mixer, the July update also addresses some of the stability and quality issues that plagued some users who were attempting to make use of the livestreaming app.

You can check out all of these features right now as the July update is currently available for all Xbox One owners.

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