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Xbox 360 dashboard update – Need to Know

Here's what your Xbox 360 will look like from tomorrow – with Metro, Kinect and tons of apps

Xbox 360 update – Metro

This is your new UI, and if you’ve got a Windows Phone Mango handset like the Nokia Lumia 800 or the HTC Titan, Metro’s large tiles and hubs won’t be a stranger to you. Microsoft has divvied up your Xbox’s capabilities into Social, Games, Apps, Video, Music and Live TV in the menu running across the top of your screen, with quick access to recently launched apps. Consider it a sneak peek into what Windows 8 might bring us next February.

Xbox 360 update – apps

Microsoft is gunning for Xbox LIVE to bump pricey, standalone smart TVs off our Christmas wishlists. And with plenty of just announced apps – and a few, like BBC iPlayer on the horizon for 2012 – we can see Xbox owners more than catered for without the need for a smart TV.

Here in the UK, anyone with an Xbox LIVE Gold account gets access to 14 new apps including LOVEFiLM, YouTube, VEVO, last.fm, blinkbox, 4oD and 5 Demand via the Apps Marketplace tile.

Xbox 360 update – Kinect and Bing

Those large Metro tiles are built for Kinect-friendly arm waving, meaning that your madeover Xbox dashboard can be easily navigated when your Xbox controller’s gone MIA. There’s also voice commands, which integrates with the Bing search engine, the dashboard’s menu categories, and within apps like YouTube for Siri-style searching.

Xbox 360 update – how to get it?

The Xbox 360 dashboard update will be available from December 6, and some of the apps like LOVEFiLM come with 30-day free trials to test out the streaming services. Plus, the free Windows Phone 7 Xbox companion app will be available to download from the Marketplace tomorrow. Now, to renew that Xbox LIVE membership and get our hands on a Kinect.

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Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home