Microsoft was slammed by the gaming community when it first announced the Xbox One. Why? Because there was a focus on things other than games.

But the fact is, we often use our consoles for things that aren't just shooting army men or playing in the World Cup. Like recoding our exploits, multitasking and making video calls. As such, we've picked out five things you can do on your Xbox One in addition to playing games.

[Read more: Xbox One backward compatibility - all you need to know]

1. Tell your console what to do

Did you know you can control your Xbox One using your voice? That's right, just bark commands and it'll do your bidding, like an obedient robo-slave.

It works through the console's Cortana personal assistant. It can turn on the console, record what's on-screen, send messages and more.

To issue a command, just say "Hey Cortana". For the full list of comands, say "Hey Cortana, what can I say?"

Give it a try, and let the console do the hard work.

2. Do two things at once

It's buzzword heavy, but Microsoft likes its Snap functionality on Xbox One. This allows you to 'snap' something to the side of the screen while you're doing something else. Hey presto - multitasking!

Obviously this works for games, but it also means you can bring up Internet Explorer while watching a film, or have a video call on the side to discuss Corrie while it's in full flow.

It's a neat little extra, rather than a mere gimmick.

3. Watch TV through your console

Microsoft made a big thing of the Xbox One being compatible with TV boxes, and you can indeed run your BT Vision or YouView set top box through the console.

This means you can enjoy the above-mentioned voice control through Kinect to watch your TV, as well as the (also) above-mentioned snap feature with television.

The Xbox's OneGuide channel listing service lets you browse what’s on and create personalised channels. It's like having a TV guide inside your console.

4. Make video calls

Microsoft owns Skype, the video calling service, so it's no surprise it features on Xbox One. It can be used with Kinect's camera to provide the functionality you would expect, and the previously mentioned voice commands also apply to the app.

Which is handy when you want to dramatically hang up on someone.

5. Control the console with a smartphone or tablet

As with Microsoft's competitor, Sony's PlayStation 4, the Xbox One can be controlled using a smartphone or tablet. Just download the SmartGlass app.

You can navigate through apps and features on the console using the app on Windows devices, Windows phones, Android or iOS, using the device as a controller.

You can also see more information for films and TV shows you watch with the app acting as a second screen. Some games also offer more information on the second screen too.

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