At the Microsoft Developer’s Conference in San Francisco, Phil Spencer spilled the beans on the much-anticipated dev mode which was promised when the Xbox One was first unveiled in 2013.

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This program means that any retail Xbox One can now be turned into a development kit. The program is available on the Xbox One preview program, and will roll out to the public with the Windows 10 Anniversary update in June/July 2016. This new program opens up new possibilities for all developers to build and test UWP apps and games on their home console. Whether you are a mainstream developer, or someone who knows a little about coding, the path is unblocked for all.

Along with the Xbox One dev kit news, Microsoft shed some light on the upcoming Anniversary Update for Windows 10 and Xbox One. The update will bring with it a few new features and tweaks. The whole idea of this update is to further enhance the compatibility between Xbox One and Windows 10:

  • Xbox and Windows Store convergence. The best of the Xbox Store comes together with the best of the Windows Store beginning this summer with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. The store will work across all devices in the ecosystem and provide developers more choice in how and where they deliver their content and monetize their customers. New support will include features that game developers have come to expect and require from Xbox One into the Windows Store including support for bundles, season passes, pre-orders and more.
  •  Cortana on Xbox One. When Cortana arrives on Xbox One with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, gamers can expect the familiar Cortana experience found on other Windows 10 devices. Cortana will get smarter over time to become your personal gaming assistant and help you find great new games, new challenges or help you with tips and tricks. More specific details to come.
  • Background Music. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update lays the foundation for most requested fan features like background music. Background music is the ability to listen to music from Xbox One apps in the background while you’re doing another activity on the console. This means your music will be played without the app being in Snap mode.

We do not know when this update will roll out, but Microsoft has said that it will release sometime in “Summer”, so expect it between June – August 2016.

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