These are the 10 best Universal Windows 10 apps that need to come to Xbox One

The Universal Windows Platform unifies app development across Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, HoloLens, and now Xbox One. Developers building apps for Windows PCs can very quickly bring their services across to the console, tweaking very minimal amounts of code to get them functioning. The developer of Baconit noted that his Reddit app shares 99% of its code across the mobile, PC and Xbox version of the application, requiring only three system changes to run on the console.

Still, it's early days and there aren't yet many Universal apps available on Xbox. Here's a list of apps currently available on Windows 10 PCs that I think would be great on Xbox One.

What is a Universal Windows Platform app?

So, what exactly is the Universal Windows Platform? UWP is a library of application programming interfaces (APIs) that almost entirely match across Xbox One and other Windows 10 devices. The goal of UWP is to minimize the amount of work required to get an app running on multiple types of hardware. UWP encompasses all sorts of input methods, display types, and system architecture, conforming to the different platforms with a single codebase.

Microsoft hopes that UWP will help it catch up to the Android and iOS app stores, leveraging its dominance in desktop computing to procure apps for Windows 10 Mobile and paradigms of the future, such as IoT and HoloLens.

Convergence

Xbox One represents a unique and exciting position for UWP. Xbox One is arguably the biggest player when it comes to apps in the living room right now. Apple TV has shifted millions of units, but there's no way it can hope to command the same usage hours as a full-blown games console which runs blockbuster AAA titles.

The living room has long been a target of app developers, as TV and high-end gaming remains one of the only paradigms that can command our attention away from our handsets. UWP will also help Microsoft's Xbox compete with Sony's PlayStation 4, as the extra services and features that arrive with the platform begin to add to the Xbox One's value.

There isn't yet an enormous amount of truly Universal Windows Platform apps in the Windows 10 Store, but here's a list of some of the best I hope to see on Xbox One in the future.

1. Readit

Readit

Readit is one of, if not the best way to browse Reddit, and we already know it's coming to Xbox One. As a fully featured client, Readit's developer Caleb Keith has been incredibly fast in responding to the latest features included in Windows 10 SDK updates. Not only does Readit give you the full Reddit experience, including browsing, subscribing, commenting, posting and voting, but it also supports some of Windows 10's unique features. Live Tiles, subreddit-based Wallpaper and Lockscreen updates, account syncing between devices, and since the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Readit can also do session hand-offs between Windows 10 Mobile and PC.

While the Xbox One doesn't support some of Windows 10's more nuanced features, there's no reason why Microsoft can't include full API convergence between PC, Phone, and Xbox in the future. Readit is among the best examples of how powerful UWP apps can be in the right developer's hands.

Download Readit from the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

2. MyTube! For YouTube

MyTube

MyTube! has long been one of the best third-party YouTube solutions on Windows phones, and MyTube's developer Christopher Blackman is currently working on taking the app fully Universal in version 3.0.

Even though MyTube! 3.0 is in beta with some missing features, it's already arguably better than YouTube's official app on iOS and Android, supporting many of YouTube Red's features without a subscription. For Xbox One, MyTube will feature a full-blown TV mode with native controller support instead of utilizing a joystick-bound mouse cursor. It should provide a much cleaner, more intuitive and faster YouTube experience than Google's own HTML-based official app. Be excited for this one.

Download MyTube Beta from the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

3. VLC Player

VLC

VLC Player is a staple Windows app that has been around for over 15 years. It's one of the best light-weight multi-platform video players, carrying support for almost every video file type and codec.

VLC Player now has an official UWP version, available on Windows 10 PCs and phones, and it could soon arrive on Xbox One, granting access to network video and music libraries.

Download VLC Player from the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

4. Remote Desktop

Remote Desktop

Remote Desktop is a Windows staple that allows you to log in and take control over another PC on your network. Remote Desktop was given the Universal treatment some time ago, allowing Windows 10 Mobile users to control a PC via intuitive touch controls on their phone.

If Remote Desktop hit Xbox One, it would open up a world of possibilities for multi-screen users. Although Remote Desktop isn't exactly optimized for gaming, there's no reason it couldn't pick up that sort of functionality in the future, allowing you to play Steam games away from your main PC via a remote Xbox One. There are exciting possibilities here.

Download Remote Desktop (Preview) from the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

5. Duolingo

Duolingo

Duolingo is one of my favorite UWP apps. It's a service that gamified language learning, awarding EXP and levels for completing various challenges. The app is already available on Windows 10 PCs and touch devices, and its fun and interactive language learning services seem to be a good fit for Xbox One.

Download Duolingo from the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

6. Twitter apps

Twitter

Twitter was one of the earliest major non-Microsoft services to get the full UWP treatment, and the app has been steadily improving on PCs and phones. Considering the Xbox One already has quite a lot of integration with Twitter, bringing the Universal version to the console seems like a good idea, particularly if you would be able to snap your feed and receive notifications. Twitter also enjoys many great third-party Universal solutions on Windows 10, including Tweetium, Tweet It!, Fenice and Aeries, and these are all great candidates for console versions too.

Speaking of Twitter, its sister service, Vine, already has a limited app on Xbox One, bringing six-second videos to your TV. Vine also has an app for Windows 10 PC, sporting far more powerful features than the app currently available on Xbox. As Vine begins to transition away from six-second videos to 120-second videos, bringing its full UWP app to the Xbox One would carry a lot of potential, particularly if it gained the ability to receive clips from Xbox's Upload Studio and beyond.

Download Twitter from the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

7. Skype

Skype

Here's another no-brainer. Considering it is a Microsoft service, Skype has traditionally been pretty awful on phones and tablets. Thankfully, the team is now working on a Universal version that is already far superior to the Windows 8-based apps of yesteryear even in preview.

The Skype app for Xbox One isn't too bad, but if the UWP apps of Movies & TV and Groove Music are anything to go on, the UWP Skype would not only be far faster on Xbox One but would support some of UWP's latest features. Skype Bots, combined with Cortana, create some exciting possibilities for contacting external services on your console.

Download Skype Preview from the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

8. Spoticast for Spotify

Spotify has some form of exclusivity deal with Sony's PlayStation 4, but that shouldn't stop apps like Spoticast hitting the Xbox One. Spoticast is a beautifully made UWP client for Spotify, but in addition to streaming music, it can also play music videos if they are available.

Spoticast also features DNLA streaming, casting and account syncing between devices. Of course, it remains to be seen whether Spotify would issue a takedown notice if Spoticast violated their exclusivity deal with PlayStation, but Webrox has already expressed interest in bringing the app to consoles. Let's wait and see.

Download Spoticast from the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

9. Unstream

Unstream

It's no secret that Twitch doesn't have an official app on Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. It's also no secret that Twitch.tv's website isn't particularly well designed, looking as though it was plucked out of the early 00s. Like many services that have so far declined to support the Windows Store ecosystem, an independent developer has stepped in to not only bring Twitch to Windows mobile devices, but also create a superior experience in general.

Unstream is one of the best ways to use Twitch. Its stream player is far faster than Twitch's website, and also circumvents ads. It allows you to chat, follow and unfollow, watch videos on demand and even cast streams to other devices. Hopefully it'll arrive on Xbox One in the future!

Download Unstream from the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

10. Windows Central

Windows Central

Of course, what list of awesome UWP apps would be complete without our own Windows Central app?

We do intend to bring our app to Xbox One as soon as Microsoft gives us the go ahead. Windows Central's UWP is completely free without ads and supports comment replies, article viewing, in-app podcast and video playback and much more. If you enjoy our content, installing this app on Xbox One would help you keep up to date on all the latest and greatest Microsoft has to offer.

Download Windows Central from the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

Looking ahead

The future is bright for apps and services on Xbox One. Microsoft was instrumental in turning home game consoles into entertainment centers during the previous generation, bringing apps like Netflix and YouTube to the living room TV screen. Combining the Universal Windows Platform, the natural language of Cortana and roaming data between devices using your Microsoft Account, the potential for new functionality on Xbox One is astronomical.

Not only could UWP completely change the way we think about home game consoles, but Microsoft's strength in the living room could be the final piece of leverage it needs to persuade companies like YouTube and Twitch to build apps for its Windows 10 device family. We can only hope.

What Universal Windows Platform apps would you like to see on Xbox One? What services would be a good fit for the Windows 10 device family? Let us know in the comments!

Our list of every Universal app known on Xbox One

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

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

55 Comments
  • Belgium based tv distributor Telenet's Yelo Play app would be awesome... It's a uwp app for some time already...
  • Yes, would be epic! 
  • Microsoft needs to open the floodgates. Apps like HDHomerun for tv viewing are ready and waiting. And Xbox One can help Windows phone. The HDHomerun app has been on the Windows store for a while, but the developer released the phone version partly because of his work to extend the app for Xbox.
  • Microsoft loves to hesitate when they have the advantage (HoloLens, Continuum, etc.). It's like they're second guessing themselves. They wait a year or two before they plan to really get behind and promote Continuum, but by then Android will be there too... so advantage lost. They're way ahead on Hololens (announced a year and a half ago), but by the time the consumer version is on the Bestbuy shelves it will be sitting next to 3 AR competitors. Now with UWP apps on XBox ,they hesitate again. Google never blinks in the face of success, they stay aggressive, and bring things to market fast. They let consumers decide what will be successful in the market, not exec's in conference rooms. Microsoft needs to get over their fear and just open this stuff up to consumers. Should Office be on the XBox? Let consumers chose, its not that difficult. Open up the store. Don't wait until the hype curve is gone and no one cares anymore.
  • Where would one find a universal app in the store? Will it just be with the normal xbox apps? I'm having trouble finding them...
  • Agreed! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Agreed, well said!!
    Only Panos and the Surface team show no mercy and push forward relentlessly! And Xbox to some extent with Phil. I think it's getting better though. Look at the pace of windows 10. They are practically on fire, moving ahead non-stop
  • Yeah, the surface team is exactly what Microsoft needed.
  • I agree
  • Pretty much nailed it, there's nothing wrong with some curation but MS have become far too tepid in trying to emulate Apple & Google has occupied the space Microsoft was once in. They could afford to be a bit more flexable with Xbox more Steam like and less AppleTV/Nintendo end of the spectrum.
  • Kodi kodi kodi
  • Won't happen for both technical and legal reasons. There is an app store friendly version of Kodi called MrMC made by former XBMC devs which is available for iOS,FireOS and Tizen (WIP), they were asked just recently about a UWP version and they stated while Microsoft emulate some of the iOS libraries they need which is good, a large chunk are still missing (in making a quick iOS port) and it would be a big effort to make a UWP port. Windows support was removed from Kodi when they forked MrMC to make it app store compliant and Kodi is a Win32 app anyway not UWP compliant. Kodi's biggest user base these days in Android, then Windows followed by Linux, the Kodi add-on system means it would be blocked from any app store with security restrictions like Apple's or Microsoft's. So it just wont happen with that in place, MrMC removes the add-on system and has all the legal codec lisencing in place.  
  • I do recall the KODI app showing up in the store though; https://www.windowscentral.com/e?link=https2F%2Fclick.linksynergy.co... Weird it hasn't been in the news. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Probably just a place holder they marked out to stop scammers from using it. Microsofts app store policies follow those of Apple to the best of my understanding so Kodi will never feature on Windows Store while those policies are in place, hence why former XBMC devs created MrMC. Even if Microsoft relaxes those restrictions around Win32 ports to the Windows Store it probably wont lift them when it comes to the Xbox so a compliant UWP app would still be required.
  • BTW WC, Why are the comments disabled on the whatsapp article?
     
  • Lol. They should have learned to disable them after the first article
  • Because they wanna post stupid useless articles and don't wanna hear any criticism about them.
  • Or we don't want to read your stupid useless comments. It works both ways.
  • Lol
  • I would argue that the HDHomerun DVR app would be awesome on Xbox. Opens up OTA and CableCard DVR services.
  • Tweetium and News! Where are the UWP apps Microsoft? UWP on XBox is going to turn out like the Kinect if you don't allow the apps in.
  • nesbox emulator would be really nice to have or retropie as an uwp app :p
  • This ^ Xbox Tetris is woeful
  • still waitin' for the VBA10 app to come if they let 'em. Some people would go nuts for the chance to play all them Mario and Zelda games on the X1, lyrically!!!
  • Does UWP run on iot devices? Like could I run windows central UWP on raspberry pi 3 windows 10 iot? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Yes!
  • Yes and no, the Universal Windows Platform is available and is the primary development platform for Windows 10 IoT. However some APIs are not supported and apps need to be tested and adapted for IoT flavor (just like some APIs are missing or behaving differently in Mobile flavor).
    ​Finally, the biggest limiting factor is that Windows IoT only uses sideloading, it cannot access the store. It seems Microsoft is targetting companies and enthousiasts whom want to write an app for their device and use the same app on tablets, phones and PCs, but do not yet see the value in enabling different people from different companies to work on different parts of an embedded device. ​I envision a future where apps developers can write apps for IoT that builders/tinkerers then use to build their device without having to write code. But that's still not possible.
    ​Wouldn't it be great to write a radio app once and let people build their Raspberry Pi-based radio using the same app ?
  • I want the UWP Plex app Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Plex is already available on the Xbox. And if I'm not mistaken, they're working on unifying the apps. So it's a matter of time.
  • Precisely. :)
  • Do an article on UWA games you would like to see on the xbox
  • The HD Homerun DVR client is one of the top apps I wanna have on my Xbox One.
  • Bookviser Reader. You missed it yet again. It's the best book reading app that supports many formats of ebooks and also provides numerous free ebooks with 3D page rotation.
  • I didn't miss it, just never heard of it. :) Looks great.
  • Try it....
  • What is Microsoft waiting on to allow the apps in the store wth this should've been ready at launch
  • API, documentation, testing, and feedback, OS fixes, etc.
  • Am I the only one that can't get Unstream to even open anymore? I love it, but it seems like it's been broken in both phone and pc for a while. I tried reinstalling, makes no difference.
  • I want a universal calculator Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Remote desktop is awesome but I find it sluggish on my Xbox one
  • Anyone know if the Hulu app on XB1 is a UWP now? After the preview for Xbox came out the Hulu app updated. It looks basically the same, functionally better but is slow and craps out a lot. The previous version was rock stable and fast.
  • Remote Desktop would be great, as would the Miracast app that preview members have had for over a year. I'd also like the Podcast from Mobile so I can watch my video podcasts on the big screen. I realize that Cast is already there but I haven't tried it yet. And Calculator would be pretty cool, too, haha.
  • "the Miracast app that preview members have had for over a year." So there is such a thing, I'm not crazy. Thought I heard you could Miracast to an XBox, and have been trying to figure out how. Not really much of a gamer, and have only had the XBox OneS for about a week. Quite a learning curve. Fired up an app and discovered I had no idea how to close it. Seems that allowing the new AU Connect app would be the way to go on this. On preview on a phone and PC, so played with the Connect app a lot. It would be very welcome on the XBox.
  • What about Facebook? Posted via my Nexus 5X
  • Facebook's app is pretty slow. It's basically a website converted to an app and offers no extra features.
  • Even so, there's still opportunities there - particularly when it comes to sharing game clips and screenshots. Posted via my Nexus 5X
  • Duolingo is the best app ever made in any platform
  • I want smart home UWP apps using Cortana integration on my Xbox, such as for a door cam... "hey Cortana, show me who is at the front door".
  • Series Tracker
  • I want kodi to come as a uwp to Xbox! Back to the roots:X
  • Porn hub
  • How does the Duolingo UWP compare to Android counterparts?  I used the Windows duolingo app and it was functioning but the app on my S7 is still ahead of what was available before they launched the UWP. 
  • Isn't Skype already on XBOX One?
  • I think I'll definitely pick mytube and VLC player for my xbox one, consider the fact that I hate ADs from official youtube, and the media format support is not quite sufficient in Xbox One, a dedicated app will be useful.
  • The developer for the UWP app SupaStreams is working on an Xbox One version. It lets you watch Twitch, Hitbox and YouTube Gaming streams. The current version if for Windows 10 desktops only.