Xbox One Insider Program members can now experiment with the console's next software update. Microsoft said the preview build features automatic updates, an improved achievement tracker, and, as so often happens with pre-release software, a whole host of frustrating-but-manageable bugs.
The key feature is the ability to use automatic updates regardless of the Xbox One's power mode.
"You can now enable automatic updates independently from your console’s power mode (Instant-On or Energy-saving)," Microsoft said in a Reddit post. "To enable automatic updates, navigate to the new updates interface in Settings > System > Updates. Consoles in Energy-saving Mode will download any available updates at shut down. For consoles in Instant-On mode, the experience remains the same."
The update will also let people "control the transparency level and number of achievements in the achievement tracker" used to monitor progress towards in-game achievements (the virtual badges that allow people to brag about finding a bunch of collectibles, getting a bunch of kills, or otherwise kicking ass in a game). Now instead of being distracted by a long, opaque list next to the game screen, people can control the tracker's appearance.
But all is not wonderful in this preview build. Microsoft said there were known issues with Cortana--the company's nigh-ubiquitous virtual assistant--that include being too sensitive to phrases that sound like "Hey Cortana" or failing to display scheduled notifications to signed-in but inactive users. Problems with publisher apps like Ubisoft Club and EA Access, as well as crashes related to other apps or settings, are also present in this build.
Microsoft said the update was made available to the Xbox One Insider Program's Alpha ring on February 6; it's expected to expand to Beta users either February 7 or 8. More details can be found on the official forum post, but you'll need to be a member of the Insider program to view it. Xbox One owners aren't the only ones experimenting with new software; Sony made a similar preview available to PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro beta testers on February 3.