Xbox One April update adds friends notifications, Kinect and video quality improvements

The Xbox One April update currently rolling out to systems in Microsoft's beta program, an initiative that lets console owners test system updates prior to their official launch, includes friend notifications, Blu-ray 50 Hz support, Kinect voice and motion improvements and more.

The friends notifications will allow users to see when favorites and friends sign in to Xbox Live. Friends notifications were made a priority in the April update as it was one of the most frequently requested features in the first preview wave, according to Microsoft.

The upcoming rollout will also identify friends in multiplayer games in the friends list and introduce the ability to view friends' most popular apps. Game and app saves changes will introduce a game save progress bar to show the status of game saves. Users will be able to easily view recent and current updates made to games and apps.

Kinect voice and motion refinements will be added to "continue to fine tune the quality and reliability of Xbox One commands" and video quality will be increased through "compression algorithm improvements." The update will add Blu-ray 50 Hz video output support for content recorded at 50 Hz to address video playback issues experienced by European Xbox Live users.

Xbox One device management fixes will address known issues with controlling TVs, set top boxes and receivers. Users will also be able to tweak audio volumes when Kinect is used in communications.

Xbox One's beta program kicked off Feb. 20 to let selected participants test system updates before they go live to all users in order to gather feedback about upcoming changes. The February update for Xbox One included a handful of new features and user interface improvements, while the March update introduced new multiplayer-focused features to coincide with the release of Titanfall.

Microsoft is sending out more beta invitations to Xbox Live members in the 13 regions where the Xbox One is currently available. Selected participants will be notified via an Xbox Live message to register.

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