Eyes are lighting up, hands are thrown into the air and cheers are expelled from the mouths of die-hard fans. The Xbox One October update is here with one of the most user-requested features since the Xbox One home console launched last year. That's right, full DLNA server support has been implemented into Microsoft's console, meaning you no longer have to use Jerry-rigged antics to stream media to the console.
The new and improved Media Player headlines the October update for the Xbox One, as outlined on Major Nelson's website. The Media Player is available right now as a downloadable app from the Xbox One app store. In the previous month's update they added the ability for the console to stream content from compatible USB 2.0 and 3.0 devices. This means that you can copy your favorite clips, music or photos and put them onto a device and then hook it up to the Xbox One and have the Xbox read the media straight from the device using the updated Media Player. I can attest, from firsthand experience, that the Media Player works like a freaking charm. It's about on par with what the Xbox 360 was capable of... that's kind of embarrassing given that this is an eighth-gen console and it should have been able to do that from the start, but whatever.
Anyway, the next big upgrade for the Media Player now enables users to completely bypass the need for USB sticks or external devices altogether. Instead, you can just have the media player read supported files (including MKVs) from your computer, phone or other compatible devices attached to your home network. Shared files can be streamed remotely right from the comfort of your couch. Finally.
Snap Mode has also seen a somewhat significant upgrade (if you're really into Snapping – I don't think I've used it since I did the article explaining how to use custom music while playing a game) as there are now friend-list snapping and message snapping. Making it easier than ever to keep track of social on-goings without ever having to leave the game, as mentioned on the official page...
“We’ve updated the Snap Center to include quick access to many of the things our fans wanted faster access to when playing a game – Friends, Messages, Game DVR, clock, and battery indicator – as well as making it easier to close and open new snap apps when playing a game. A double tap of the Xbox button on your controller will bring up a menu that allows you to open a new app in snap mode, close the current snapped app, or switch focus between your game and your running snapped app.“
The updated section for friends also enables users to check out what their friends have been up to with a look at “current activities”, this includes checking out the Gamerscore, leaderboard results, achievements and other game-related activities.
There's also an easier way to reset passwords, improved TV and video support (because what would the Xbox One be without top-tier TV-on-your-TV support?) and new Smartglass features. You can check out the full list of updates on the Major Nelson website. Alternatively, if your system is set to auto-update, the new features should be available once you get home from work or school as you prep to play the console that edged out the PS4 in CPU performance but got dogpiled in the GPU benchmarks.