Microsoft is planning to kill off one of the more unique features of its Xbox One dashboard: snap mode. The software giant originally introduced snap mode as a method to watch TV or run an app side-by-side with a game. Microsoft is now on a mission to improve dashboard speed and multitasking, and snap mode is being removed to help improve the overall dashboard lag.
Xbox Platform head Mike Ybarra revealed the change on Twitter yesterday, noting that “we replaced Snap to improve multitasking, reduce memory use, improve overall speed, and free up resources going forward for bigger things.” It’s not clear what those “bigger things” are just yet, but rumors have suggested Microsoft might opt for some type of picture-in-picture mode to let universal apps run alongside games.
Microsoft has just started testing a new dashboard for the Xbox One, with an improved guide that no longer requires console owners to navigate back to the home interface to quickly access games, apps, and features. Currently, the Xbox One dashboard suffers from a number of performance issues when navigating to the home screen, and Microsoft is attempting to resolve some of these by rebuilding a number of features and the dashboard.
Xbox One preview participants have started testing the new features, and Microsoft is planning to roll updates out to more preview members in sets of waves. If you’re an active preview participant you’re more likely to be asked to test a number of updates each week, whereas less active members will see more stable updates once a week. Microsoft is expected to deliver its new Xbox One dashboard to existing consoles around the time that the Windows 10 Creators Update ships in April.