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(Pocket-lint) - Last November, Microsoft pushed what was perhaps the biggest update to any of its consoles yet, with the Xbox One user experience switching to one based on Windows 10.

New features have arrived since then, with some having significant effects on how users get to content or keep in touch socially, but none have quite the impact of what is in store with the Xbox One summer update. It offers a number of key changes and improvements that make it one of the biggest software releases for the console.

We've seen it in action, so here's a few of the major new features and enhancements that you can look forward to in the next month or so.

When will I get the Xbox One summer 2016 update?

The summer update is now rolling out to those on the Xbox Preview program. It is rolling out in waves, so you might not get it quite yet. It's on its way though and you'll see it appear in the next few weeks. The Xbox app for Windows 10 will also be updated.

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Xbox One owners not on the Preview program will get the update in a month or so.

Xbox One summer 2016 update new features

Cortana comes to Xbox One

When Microsoft switched the Xbox One's operating system to Windows 10, it was touted that Cortana - the voice assistant used by many on PC and Windows Phone - was also coming to the console. Now she's finally arrived.

For those who already use voice commands with their console, there will be significant changes. For a start, you now have to say "Hey Cortana" before commands rather than "Xbox". That includes when you turn the Xbox on or off.

However, as Cortana understands contextual speech, there is far greater variety in what is understood. For example, to turn off the console you could say, "Hey Cortana, turn off my Xbox One."

She can also be used as a personal assistant, a la Windows 10 PC, rather than just understand gaming commands. You can ask her what the weather is, say, or even if you need to wear a coat today.

She will also learn your habits and needs, based on your Microsoft profile. So if you support Liverpool and Windows 10 knows that, you could just say, "Hey Cortana, how's my football team doing?" She'll show the current status of Liverpool FC in a sidebar on your TV.

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Cortana available through headsets

As well as through the Kinect, Cortana can be used through a headset with a microphone.

While that might be useful if you're watching a film late at night through headphones, it will come into use more for gamers who can bark commands during gameplay. Starting a party, for instance.

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My Games & Apps rejigged

As well as move the My Games & Apps tile to the top right of the homescreen - making it much easier to access - the whole section itself has been revamped.

It now scrolls vertically rather than horizontally, and games are listed under alphabetical sub-heads. Games can also be sorted now by last used or size, rather than just alphabetically.

The list of games ready to install now appears on the lift sidebar, along with the games, apps and installation queue.

And when games are downloading, you can now see how fast the download speed is, as well as how much is left to download.

Facebook friends easily added

There is now the ability to easily find and add Xbox One owners among your Facebook friends. Facebook Friend Finder was available as part of the Xbox app on PC but is now part of the Xbox One system too.

As more people link their Xbox Live and Facebook accounts, you'll also get new recommendations of people to add.

Sharing is easier on Xbox One

A setting has been added to halt automatic sharing of achievements, video clips and screengrabs. While those who are keen to do so will find the process slightly simplified. There are less steps to undertake in order to share content.

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Xbox Store improved

The store is now under a single tab on the main screens and has a number of key improvements to make it more like the Windows Store on PC. It is now geared for the flood of Windows apps that will be released for the Xbox One over the coming weeks and months.

One of the main changes is that game discounts, as part of an Xbox Live Gold membership, will be shown on the storefront pages underneath related titles. They will also detail whether you already own a game, so you don't have to go into their specific page to find out.

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Windows 10 Xbox app improved too, with game DVR recording changes

If you record a video on either PC or Xbox One, you can now edit it on a PC before posting to the community. That can also be done with third-party Windows editing software, not just the built-in basic editor.

You can also manage your clips from your profile and post 60fps footage through the "very high" setting in the Xbox app.

Other PC games appear in Xbox Live feed

As well as the games sold by Microsoft, other PC games you have on your system will now appear in the Xbox app, with full metadata and details. Also, if you or your friends are playing a PC game, you can even see what game it is across all devices, including the Xbox One.

Writing by Rik Henderson.