In January Microsoft changed the Xbox One Preview Program to the Xbox Insider Program in an attempt to make it closer to the Insider programs that run on the other branches of Windows 10.
Unlike that program however, simply opting in did not mean you got new builds, with the Xbox team being a lot more selective.
There are four rings for testing: Alpha, Beta, ring 3, and ring 4. Alpha users get cutting edge updates, usually at least two or three times each week. Beta is similar, although they’ll usually receive a maximum of two builds each week. Both of those rings are far faster than even the fast ring for the PC Windows Insider Program, although both ring 3 and ring 4 are more traditional, with ring 3 acting as a fast ring equivalent (2-3 updates per month) and ring 4 acting like the slow ring (a single update per month). Insiders needed to regularly submit feedback to access any ring other than 4. In Microsoft’s own words, the other rings open up to “the most active Xbox Insiders”.
This mean that many that applied have not had access to new builds yet, but according to Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra the number of Xbox Insiders are set to increase over the next few days, which should mean many more will have the opportunity to be involved.
We’re going to expand the pool of Xbox Insiders in the next few days to get more coverage. As always thanks for helping to create Xbox.
— Mike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) February 4, 2017
Of course to progress up the rings it is still very important to send feedback. Microsoft lists a couple of suggestions for activity, which include completing quests, surveys, polls, and ratings in the Xbox Insider Hub, as well as reporting bugs and submitting feedback. You’ll also be able to participate in game and app betas from the Hub to count for activity, but the final suggestion is the easiest of them all: simply using your Xbox One regularly.
While we don’t know exactly what content will go into the Alpha and Beta rings, it’s easy to assume that Microsoft will be making the biggest changes – and needing the most feedback from dedicated Xbox users – in them.
Have any of our readers been recruited in the new round? Let us know below.