In apparent efforts to improve multitasking and dashboard speed, Microsoft removes the Xbox One Snap, the feature that allows players to view an additional panel during gameplay.
While the Xbox One is a console many enjoy, it seems Microsoft is still aiming to improve users’ overall experience. Players will have to wait until late 2017 for the upcoming Project Scorpio upgrade to finally be available, but that hasn’t stopped Microsoft from rolling out smaller updates. The most recent is Microsoft’s decision to ditch the Xbox One Snap feature, which gives users the ability to “snap” an app to the side of the screen while they played a game or watched a film.
The Xbox One Snap was introduced to the console a few years ago in its Smart Match update. Snap was tweaked numerous times to offer access to additional apps like Skype and Xbox Music and to enhance overall accessibility. The feature focused on multitasking and offered players the option to run two applications at the same time, “snapping” one window to a portion of the screen. Though some players did enjoy the Xbox One Snap feature, Microsoft has chosen to remove it from the upcoming user dashboard update.
Microsoft has been testing these minor updates to its Xbox One user dashboard with Xbox Insiders. Microsoft also takes into account user feedback on the console’s functionality, and have put it to use.
According to Microsoft, the company is refocusing efforts on simplifying the user interface, starting with Xbox One’s Home. In a recent blog post, Microsoft explained, “Our goal is to simplify the UI and increase overall system performance, and that starts with updating Home based on what you care most about for the games you play.” This includes getting rid of the Snap feature, which some state made the console’s dash run more slowly.
Though this update will not be available immediately — it is slated to be integrated in a few months’ time — players did get an explanation as to why Microsoft is doing away with the Snap feature. On his Twitter account, Xbox’s Director of Program Management Mike Ybarra stated, “We replaced Snap to improve multitasking, reduce memory use, improve overall speed, and free up resources going forward for bigger things.” This seems to be in line with previous statements emphasizing Microsoft’s focus on simplification and improving speed.
Just what these “bigger things” are, however, has not yet been revealed. While players have speculated that Microsoft may be working on universal app accessibility for the Xbox One, nothing has been officially confirmed, leaving these ambiguous future plans just that: ambiguous. Despite this, however, Microsoft is still making efforts towards enhancing the console. Removing the Snap feature seems like just another step in Microsoft’s improvement process for the Xbox One leading up to the Project Scorpio upgrade.