The triumphant return of the Avatar will be complete in the next big Xbox One update. It looks like the first major system update since the New Xbox One Experience will include a proper Avatar Store among many other new and/or returning features, and members of the preview program can start downloading it today.
Buying new items for your Avatar previously required a trip to the Avatar Editor on Xbox.com, which was still an improvement - the customizable cartoon folk were all but absent from the original Xbox One interface. The Avatar Store will also be available through the Xbox Avatars app on Windows 10 and mobile devices.
Aside from Avatars, the preview update will add several features to improve your social life on Xbox One. First off, you'll be able to see who is in a party with your friends just by checking their chat - no more dropping in sight unseen. You'll also be able to start watching friends' Twitch broadcasts straight from your Game Hubs, and compare your overall progress in the Gamerscore Leaderboard. If you don't have enough Xbox friends to make use of these features, you can use the improved Friend Suggestions area, which will now include the person's gamertag, optional real name, and the reason they were suggested to you.
Other updates include the ability to launch Pins while offline and to rearrange them on the Home screen, and the ability to hide items like betas and unused games from the 'ready-to-install' list. Xbox One Preview program members should receive the update soon, if they don't already have it. Based on prior experience, non-previewers should expect to see this update sometime within the next month or two. You can get the full rundown on Xbox Wire until then.
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