Groove UWP is now live in the Xbox One Preview, here's some first impressions

Available initially to testers, the Universal Windows Platform version of Groove will eventually roll out more broadly to those who have updated their consoles to the Xbox One Summer Update. Until then, here's a quick rundown of how it works.

There's no mouse-like joystick cursor in Groove. Instead, it uses element snapping similar to Movies & TV and other Microsoft-produced apps on the console. The main screen shows featured playlists, recent and most popular content, as well as Groove's new mood and activity-based playlists.

In this version, some of the elements have a square box, perhaps indicating a missing icon. This is a preview version after all, and it'll be refined further before heading out to the public.

Pressing the menu button on your controller opens the hamburger sidebar, which gives you access to your personal content. You can also just move your joystick to the left of the screen until it opens up the main menu.

Groove Music Xbox One UWP

Everything functions exactly how it does on the PC version, save for the fact that selecting a song automatically puts the app into full-screen mode, which plays a slideshow of photographs of the band or artist in question. The icons for media controls are currently missing in this version, but they'll no doubt arrive in the next update.

You can cycle through tracks by pressing the right and left bumpers, or fast forward and rewind using the triggers. The 'A' button selects, the 'B' button reverts to a previous action like in other UWP apps, 'X' stops music entirely, and 'Y' allows you to search from anywhere within the service.

Almost every feature available on the Windows 10 PC and Mobile version of the app is available. Background audio, Groove Music Pass, OneDrive integration, Radio, Playlists and "Your Groove" all work as expected.

Fans of the previous version of Groove might be disappointed to hear that music videos appear to have been removed. I tested the app with a few albums that I know featured music videos previously to no avail. You can't download music for offline playback either. It seems that Groove on Xbox One will remain an online streaming service, at least for now.

Note: If you're in the Xbox One Preview, you will need to update Groove to get this working. Press the menu button while highlighting Groove in your Games & Apps to get it running. If you have the previous version of Groove installed, you might have to uninstall that first and then reinstall it from the 'Ready to Install' list to obtain the correct version.

Groove Background Audio on Xbox

If you're in the Xbox One Preview, jump on Groove and let us know what you think! Check out the links below for more information on the Xbox One Summer Update and Groove Music.

Xbox One Summer Update

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!