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Xbox One's May update delivers voice messages today

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Microsoft is rolling out the May 2015 system update for the Xbox One today, bringing voice messaging and new SmartGlass features to the console, the company announced today.

Voice messaging — which has been available on Xbox 360 since the console's launch nine and a half years ago — finally arrives today on Xbox One with the May update. It is the Xbox One feature that people have requested the most on the Xbox Feedback site, according to Microsoft. Xbox One users will be able to record and send voice messages to Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners through the console's messages app. Microsoft began testing Xbox One voice messages in the console's preview program in late March.

Microsoft also added dedicated chat relay servers to the preview program that month, looking to solve NAT traversal issues that broke party chat for some players. The company will begin to expand the availability of those servers to the wider Xbox One user base "over the coming weeks," said Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, director of programming for Xbox.

Along with the May update for Xbox One, Microsoft is updating the SmartGlass app on Android, iOS and Windows Phone to allow users to turn the console on and off from their mobile devices. And in an apparent response to criticism from environmental advocacy organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council about the Xbox One's power usage, Microsoft tweaked the console's initial setup process to give users the option to select "instant-on" or "energy-saving" power modes right from the start.

For more details on the May update, check out the video above from Hryb.

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