Given the woes that the PlayStation 4 might be experiencing with its v1.70 OS update, many of us XBox One owners are on pins and needles to see what the early access update for the XBox One may or may not bring. While new features are always foremost on a gamer’s mind when an OS update is rolling out, fear of defects lingers nearby. Regardless, Phil Spencer and his team within Microsoft’s XBox Division continue to push for change and progress with the XBox One’s OS. This week they will make available an update that will bring increased audio features and better voice recognition to a small group of user-testers. That update will then roll out to the masses later in May. One user has offered additional suggestions for what might become of the console’s OS via a YouTube video. While the video is mind-blowing for its production quality, the features themselves are not. That’s because many of them are already in Windows 8.1, and just make sense for where the OS should go. Hopefully Phil Spencer thinks the same.
There is good reason to think that he might, as he tweeted a response to one fan that he had watched the video and thought many of the ideas were good.
The video first shows the user being allowed to select from a set of predetermined themes that carry a background picture, and automatically set the color of tiles. This is similar to the theme backgrounds in Windows 8, except those are default and stock to the OS. Windows 8.1 does, however, allow you to make your Metro (yes; I’m still going to use that term) background the same as that of your desktop. Taking the next step to allowing for downloadable theme backgrounds or discrete photo files for the background to inherit make sense in terms of the natural evolution of the UI.
The Ultimate UI fan-made demonstration video then shows how the modular components that make up the Theme could be decomposed and allowance made to tinker with them individually. So you could apply a theme, but then alter the theme’s background, color scheme, and brightness setting. The demo also shows allowing the user the ability to set different transparency levels for tiles, as well as implementing tiles as Live Tiles. Some of these settings, or settings very closely related, are available in Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone. Let’s hope that the ongoing unification of all Windows Operating Systems continues to a point where elements of this fan’s Ultimate UI can be realized.
Even if it does not, this video is a hoot to watch just to consider the possibilities of what could be. Keep listening, Phil Spencer. Keep listening.