Xbox One February update arrives this week, here's what's included

New social features and lots more included with February's Xbox One and Windows 10 update.

Following its arrival for Preview Program members, the next Xbox One update will roll out for everyone tomorrow, February 19, bringing with it a range of new social features and more.

First, the update will allow you to see who is in a party before you join it. As you can see in the image above, when you click on a friend who is currently in a party, you will see who they are already playing with. Want to avoid a particular person? Soon you'll be able to.

February's update also introduces a Gamerscore leaderboard, allowing you to see how you stack up against friends. It also displays information about who has posted the biggest increases in Gamerscore over a rolling 30-day period. Additionally, the update lets you re-arrange pins by pressing "Y" on a pinned item, while the Activity Feed will now display the most recent information at the top.

Listed below are some other updates included with the Xbox One February update, as written by Microsoft.

  • Hide games from 'ready-to-install' list: Fans asked that we re-enable the ability to hide content like betas, trials, games, and apps that they no longer want to install. Now, you'll be able to start using this feature again.
  • 'Use a code' shortcut in the Xbox One Store: Redeem 5×5 codes quicker while on your Xbox One console by tabbing over to the Store and using the new 'Use a code' shortcut. To the right of 'Games store' and 'Search game store,' the 'Use a code' link will enable you to enter retail codes directly from the dashboard.
  • Joinable Twitch Broadcasts: Many of you have asked for it to be easier to watch your friend's game broadcasts. Now, Game Hubs as well as the game tile will allow you to easily launch Twitch.tv broadcasts if friends are broadcasting.
  • Improvements to Suggested Friends: Looking for people who you might know on Xbox or top content creators to follow? Check out the new Friend Suggestions area in Community and the Friends list in the Guide on Xbox One. Friend Suggestions include the gamertag, real name (if shared), gamerpic or Xbox Avatar image, and the reason the suggestion was made to you. Click through from the suggestion to view the member's full profile and choose to grow your friends list.
  • Program the hotkeys for your Xbox One Chatpad: We're making it easier for you to access your favorite apps with your Xbox Chatpad. This month's release includes an interface which allows you to set the X1 and X2 functions on the Chatpad keypad. Just plug your Chatpad into your controller and navigate to Settings. In the Devices & accessories area of Settings, select the controller that the Chatpad is connected to and choose the desired functions for the X1 and X2 keys from the drop down box. The current hotkey defaults are 'take screenshot' (X1) and 'record that' (X2).

Updates coming to both Xbox One and the Xbox app for Windows 10 include:

  • Avatar Store: Equip your avatar with the latest avatar items in the newly-integrated 'Avatar Store.' On the console, the Store is built right into the Xbox Avatars app and on Windows 10 PCs and phones, access the Store through the Xbox Avatars app. Get access to the entire catalog of new and oldie-but-goodie items, including free items. As you're perusing catalogs, enjoy the ability to preview the items on your avatar real-time before you buy.
  • Xbox News: Xbox News is a one-stop source for all the latest information about new hardware, console updates, game releases, tournaments like the Halo World Championship, breaking entertainment content, and more. This month, on both the Xbox app and Xbox One, you'll be able to see Xbox News posts in your activity feed, making it easier than ever to stay up-to-date on all things Xbox.
  • Xbox Accessories App: New updates to the Xbox Accessories app on Xbox One and Windows 10 make adjusting your Xbox Elite Wireless Controller easier. As soon as you open the app, you will now see how each unique setting is mapped to your Profile Switch slots in greater detail. There are also collapsible menu options and design updates that let you view all your editing options on one page. Finally, we've made improvements to the thumbstick adjustments by allowing you to change the intensity of each sensitivity curve, and also made trigger and vibration settings more visually intuitive.
  • Improvements to Trending: Across Xbox One and the Xbox app, you'll notice a new access point for Trending items to the right of the Community tab on your console and in the left menu area of the Xbox app. This gets you to a dedicated Trending landing page with the most popular topics across Xbox Live surfaced at the top, followed by an assortment of trending videos, screenshots, achievements, and more that members across the community have created or unlocked. Consider friending or following publishers of content that you would like to see more of.
  • Suggested friends: On both Xbox One and the Xbox app, we're making it easier to get details on your suggested friends. Starting this month, if you click 'see all' or double tap on the shortlist of friend suggestions in any scenario, you will be pointed to a full-screen view of all suggested friends.

The Xbox app for Windows 10 is also getting a new "Compact Mode." This is a smaller version of the app that lets you see your friends' online status and search for friends, but in a small enough window that you can run it alongside something else.

Finally, Microsoft engineer Mike Ybarra said the company plans to deliver "more great features" on Xbox One and Windows 10 later in 2016. Though he didn't provide any specifics, Microsoft has said background music is among the features the company hopes to introduce on Xbox One someday.

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