As Microsoft prepares to release its Windows 8.1 update, a number of screenshots have emerged revealing the new interface as well as some of the new apps which will become available on August 1st. These include a redesigned Xbox Music app which aims to improve the user experience, particularly when it comes to discovering new tunes.
The image obtained by The Verge shows off the new appearance of the Xbox Music UI, which was originally launched with Microsoft’s revamped PC and tablet OS back in October. This will follow suit with other current Windows 8 app. It’s all part of Microsoft’s campaign to unite all services in one recognisable brand identity. The two panelled design features options which are clear and concise with the easy to understand headings of Collection, Radio and Explore appearing on the left side along with a search box and the choice to create a new playlist or import an existing one from an Xbox console (360 or One).
We can presume the left panel will remain unchanged during the Xbox Music app’s use and choosing one of the options in this section will bring up relevant content on the right panel. Each option will bring up subheadings across the top, for example in the screenshot below we see that Collections will allow us access to Artist, Song and Album searches and drop down menus are available for filtering searches. Album covers and artist info will appear in tiled rows in the generous area below.
As well as the interface itself the content is also said to be vastly improved, with the ability to search outside of the Xbox Music catalogue and it will become possible for users to import new tracks from SD card.
Windows 8.1 will also introduce new built-in apps designed with touch screen in mind. These include Calculator and Help & Tips – both of which offer just what you’d expect and are joined by Sound Recorder and Movie Moments – the latter being basic video editing tool. The Windows Store will also get a new look and simplified interface.
The Windows 8.1 update (also known as ‘Windows Blue’) is due on August 1st when gamers can get familiar with the new Xbox Music interface before the Xbox One arrives toward the end of the year. Check out our coverage of the new Microsoft console launch in our announcement and E3 coverage.
Image source: The Verge