The newly designed Xbox app is officially available for iOS, adds Xbox remote play

New Xbox app
New Xbox app (Image credit: Xbox)

What you need to know

  • The mobile Xbox app has long been criticized of being slow and bloated by Android and iOS users.
  • Microsoft recently rolled out a completely redesigned and rebuilt Xbox app to be consistent with the New Xbox Experience.
  • The app is beautiful on Android, and is now coming to iOS officially after a limited launch on TestFlight.
  • The new Xbox app looks great on iPhones, and also adds support for Xbox remote play on iOS.

The New Xbox Experience is a dramatic effort from Microsoft to make the UI and UX experience across everything Xbox beautiful, inclusive, and consistent. This started with a new Xbox app for PC back in 2019, and has spread across everything Xbox in recent months, leading up to the launch of the next-gen Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The mobile Xbox app for Android recently was rebuilt from the ground up and redesigned with the New Xbox Experience in mind, and now that app is finally coming to Apple's iOS (opens in new tab).

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The app looks to be very similar to its Android counterpart, and surprisingly has a nearly identical feature set, including the existence of Xbox remote play. Xbox remote play allows players to stream any Xbox game directly from their Xbox console at home to their mobile device with a compatible Bluetooth controller, giving you on-the-go console-quality gaming. With the recent controversies surrounding Xbox Cloud Gaming (aka Project xCloud) being blocked by Apple on iOS, it's interesting to see this feature being regarded as an acceptable workaround.

Xbox remote play isn't the exact same as Xbox Cloud Gaming, and still requires that you have an Xbox console at home that no one is using, but iOS users will still be able to enjoy this nifty feature and all the other goodies that come along with the new Xbox app, including an increased focus on social features and a universal search function. If you want to grab the new Xbox app, you can download it directly from the Apple App Store (opens in new tab).

Image (opens in new tab)

Xbox App for iOS and Android (opens in new tab)

The all-new Xbox app for Android and iOS lets users access their Xbox accounts and view video games, but it's the ability to stream and play console games right on your phone that is really exciting.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer primarily focused on covering the latest news, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life, and have been with Windows Central and its sister sites since 2019. While originally brought on to write about all things Minecraft, Zachary has since expanded to write about practically everything that Windows Central covers. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.

  • Smh this makes no sense Apple allows remote play to your Xbox but not remote play to an Xbox in the Azure data centers? It's the same concept different source -_- Maybe the need to rebrand it for iOS call it remote cloud and remote play home and maybe it'll get around the Apple restrictions.
  • Sure it (makes sense) does, its in Apple's license agreement. The xCloud is actually in violation of Microsoft's own Store license agreement as well. Remote play to one's own equipment is fine, streaming from a provider directly is not okay - see Apple developer license agreement. There is nothing new about Apple's policy. Now Apple did clarify and make a change to say that services that have games in the Apple store can be streamed but the policy really hasn't changed. Microsoft is going to have to either one natively port the games to iOS or go through the certification process for the game(s) to be streamed on a per title basis. "3.1.2(a): Games offered in a streaming game service subscription must be downloaded directly from the App Store, must be designed to avoid duplicate payment by a subscriber, and should not disadvantage non-subscriber customers." Also see 4.9 about more particular game streaming requirements. That doesn't mean developers/publishers can't stream apps,software, or games - it just means the apps, software or games must go thru certification like every other software. A prime example is Sony... PS Remote Play has been available on iOS for nearly 2 years, but no PS Now app for streaming from Sony. Sony could package and release the games on the Apple Store.
  • AFAIK, it launched on Android (general availability) on the same day.
  • I can confirm having the new experience on Android after updating in play store
  • Style over function for me this update. It looks pretty but it is useless to me as all the features I used to use are now gone (view game history and achievements, redeem a code etc). Console streaming looks a nice addition but my controller isn't Bluetooth so that feature isn't any good for me personally either!
  • Still no code redemption feature. That was one of main reasons for using the mobile app.
  • IOS 14 isn't working with remote play. Finds the Xbox but cant connect to it.... on my older iphone 7 with IOS 13.7 works instantly no issues