Now that we have covered the hardware, lets see how the Xbox One’s Dashboard (UI) looks and some of its great features.
Unlike any other console out there the Xbox One will run three operating systems at once. There will be a Windows operating system to run applications like Skype and other non-game titles downloaded from the Microsoft store. The second operating system will be the “Xbox OS” which by use of virtualization technology will allocate the bulk of the system resources for gameplay. Finally the third operating system will work two bridge the two operating systems allowing them to talk to each other.
The thing about the new Xbox is that it will always be on and connected. When you want to turn the system on you just get in front of the Kinect and say “Xbox On” and your Xbox will come back on from sleep mode. When the Kinect recognizes you it will welcome you and bring you to your own personal home screen. The home screen shows you what you were last doing. It has live tiles that look very much like the ones on Windows 8. There is a new “Recommended” area that shows what is popular across the entire Xbox Live Community.
If you haven’t guessed yet the Xbox One’s HDMI input allows you to watch live TV on your Xbox! This again goes back to the Xbox being an “all-in-one” device. The Xbox One will provide a guide of what is currently on TV from your local cable provider. Normally you would have to scroll through to see everything but if you want to change channels all you have to do is say “Watch MTV” and the channel will be changed to MTV. If you want to see what’s on a channel you can say “What’s on HBO” and it will bring up the guide and show you wants on HBO right now. No more using a remote that you constantly lose! According to Microsoft “the beginning of truly intelligent TV”.
The Xbox one has some really cool multi-tasking and other built in usage features. The first is Instant Switching. Its basically like jumping between applications like you would in Windows. So if you are playing a game and say “Go to Internet Explorer” it will instantly switch to that. Say “Watch TV” and now it will turn on live TV. Multi-tasking on the Xbox one is called “Snapping” much like you will find on a Windows 8 machine. Watching a movie and want to browse the internet at the same time? Just say “Snap Internet Explorer” and its snapped to the right of the screen. Another new gesture feature was introduced as well. It allows you to exit movies and other applications. With both your arms grab and push out and you will exit the movie or application. Xbox One will support Skype calling using the new Kinect camera. You can easily receive calls which using your Xbox and even use the snap mode to watch a movie while on a call. Microsoft also mentioned group video chat, but we are unclear on how many people can join at once.
If you are watching sports and one of your fantasy players scores you can see the stats reflected live on screen using an ESPN app.
Of course what is the Xbox without games, they are up next!