The latest in the steady stream of apps hitting the Xbox One is the ReddX app, a front end for Reddit. It went live yesterday and you can read more about it at Xbox Wire or watch this video intro from Larry Hryb:
I checked it out briefly. I'm not much of a Reddit user and I didn't bother to log in (my password is long and random and would be a real pain to type in; I generally cut and paste it from my password manager). I was sitting in front of our 55" TV with the family in the room when I first booted it up. It defaults to a list of "Hot" topics and I didn't scroll down very far before I saw a headline saying something about an erect penis and a girlfriend's family.
At the point I decided I'd better shut it down until the room was less populated. I imagine if you have a Reddit account and are logged in you can have better control over what shows up, but it just got me thinking about the kinds of content that feels more acceptable on a private screen than on the big screen. Even though I'm not looking at the erect penis content, the fact that it's up there on the screen for everyone to see makes me feel a little bit uncomfortable; maybe that's just me though. It's like searching through TV listings for a showing of "The Big Bang Theory" and having the names of adult movies pop up along the way.
That issue aside it seems like a pretty good app. You can even browse through posts and up-vote them via voice, and it runs nicely in snapped mode if you want to cruise Reddit while watching TV or something. Of course you can post your own content, which had me wishing Microsoft would offer a chatpad for the Xbox One (they made a nice chatpad that snapped onto the Xbox 360 controller last generation). You can't type too much on that virtual keyboard without going crazy.
The other thing I find interesting about ReddX is that it hit the Xbox One before any kind of Twitter or Facebook apps have done so. I'm wondering if that reflects a shift in popularity towards Reddit (at least among gamers) and away from other social networks. Of course they rolled out an MTV app too, so maybe the order these things arrive is more or less random.
The Xbox One is getting some new Twitch features too. It can now be set to auto-zoom in on your face while streaming (assuming you have Kinect) and if you don't have Kinect it'll pick up audio from the Xbox One headset. The Twitch App now shows you what your friends are watching so you can jump in and join them. Now how about letting us access highlights (archived content) from Twitch, eh?
I've been pretty well impressed by how frequently Microsoft is adding apps to the Xbox One experience, and real soon now the games will start rolling in. Sony is starting to look a little bit complacent. It's going to be a good battle between the two consoles this holiday season, I think.
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.