Microsoft is tinkering with the 'Games & Apps' section on Xbox

Xbox
Xbox (Image credit: Windows Central)

Xbox Games and Apps

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The Xbox Insider program has endured a pretty lengthy cycle, partially owing to the rollout of Xbox Game Streaming (now available to all Xbox Insiders), and partially due to the Christmas season. Throughout, Microsoft has been making lots of tweaks here and there to the dashboard, removing the horizontal segmenting of the dashboard into a vertical, customizable stream, for example. Now, Microsoft is also looking to change the way the Games & Apps section displays downloads and updates.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The latest update to the Xbox Alpha Ring shifts some of the sidebar options into their own section, as seen above. From there, you can navigate your entire library and apps, alongside Xbox Game Pass titles, Games with Gold, and even EA Access if you're part of that service.

Below that, there's also a new "Manage" section, which provides quick access to options previously hidden away in the settings menu. You can quickly manage storage, free up space, access updates, and toggle on automatic updates, and remote installations.

Installing a game from any source gives you a more detailed prompt, which is something Microsoft has been using for Xbox Game Pass titles for a while now. You get this section regardless of where you're choosing to install games from now, though, giving you a bit more detail on the title in question.

Xbox Install (Image credit: Windows Central)

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Source: Windows Central

Once you've hit install, it appears in the queue section which looks familiar to the previous queue accessible from the sidebar. Either way, you'll still be able to see the download progressing in the sidebar, above the storage allocation circle in the bottom left.

Anecdotally, it seems that by segmenting off the "full library" list into its own section has made the initial load speed of the Games & Apps tool a little bit quicker, perhaps since it doesn't have to pull your licenses down from the internet unless you're choosing to access them.

As usual, Microsoft is taking feedback on the new Games & Apps section in the Xbox Insider Hub, if you want to offer your thoughts on it. If you're not in the program, drop your thoughts in the comments below.

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Jez Corden
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for 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 caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!