The April 2023 Xbox system update improves search and power settings

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The April 2023 system update for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S will be rolling out this week, bringing improvements to the system-level search feature, as well as adding more options for managing console power usage when in sleep and shutdown.

The Xbox search has a slightly new look to it that’s still dominated by the on-screen keyboard and a gallery of results, but has new category filters that can be navigated by using the RB / LB shoulder buttons. This naturally includes games, installed, movies & TV, apps and settings, so you can hopefully get to where you want quicker. Within movies & TV there’s a “search on YouTube” option, as well.

This is a good step, but it’s not the source of complaints over Xbox search in recent years, with the actual results to specific search terms often being very wide of the mark. Here’s hoping the backend results parsing has also taken a step forward for basic accuracy.

Beyond that, Microsoft is making further refinements to the system power options, adding new ‘Active Hours’ settings.

In the Xbox February update they changed the default behaviour for all Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles, so that they automatically use the ‘Shutdown (energy saving)’ option instead of ‘Sleep’ (formerly known as ‘Instant On’), dropping power consumption from 10-15W to 0.5W when the console is turned off. Shutdown could still check and install updates periodically, but this switch significantly increased the time that Xbox One consoles would take to turn on.

The Xbox April Update now adds a middle-ground for users. If ‘Sleep’ is the chosen power option, you can also configure ‘active hours’ during which the Xbox will be in the higher-powered mode, meaning it can boot quicker, be available for Remote Play, game installs and more. Outside of the chosen time range the Xbox will switch down to the lower-powered behaviour of ‘Shutdown (energy saving)’.

This is another great change with the environmental impact of video games in mind, but also with empowering users to have meaningful control over their electronics. For Xbox One users in particular it should provide the best of both worlds, with negligible power consumption during times when you’ll almost never be playing games, and then a better user experience during regular gaming hours.

Source: Xbox

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