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Top Xbox One apps to snap

Snappable apps are one of the Xbox One's most distinguishing features. While you play a game or use an app, you can snap and use another app on the side of the screen. Knowing which apps support and make good use of snapping can be tricky, though. Read our guide to learn the best free Xbox One apps (and one paid one) to snap.

How to snap an app

Top Xbox One apps to snap Multitasking menu Home dashboard

To snap an app:

  1. Launch the Xbox One Guide menu by either double-tapping the Home button on the controller at any time, or pressing left on the D-Pad or left analog stick on the main screen of the Xbox One Home screen/dashboard.
  2. Select the bottom-most icon from the menu, which opens the Multitasking menu.
  3. From there, you can choose to snap any app or game that supports the snapping feature.
  4. After snapping an app, access the Multitasking menu again and then press right on the Left analog stick or D-pad to toggle between the main game/app and the snapped app.
  5. You can also launch a different snapped app, which will close the currently snapped one.

Depending on the app, you might want to adjust the audio balance of the main game and the snapped app. To do this:

  1. Open the Guide menu.
  2. Select the Settings icon (shaped like a gear) located just above the Multitasking icon.
  3. Choose All settings.
  4. Scroll down and pick Display & sound.
  5. Select Volume.
  6. Pick Sound mixer.

Now you can move the meter left to make the main game/app louder or right to make the snapped app louder.

Achievements

Top Xbox One apps to snap Achievements app Neverwinter

The Achievements app is included as a basic feature of the Xbox One. When snapped, the app will automatically display the Achievements of the most recently played game or app. You can switch between tabs for locked and unlocked Achievements and select any Achievement to see its description.

One of the Achievement app's most useful features is the ability to track your progress towards specific Achievements. This takes the uncertainty out of grindy tasks that involve collecting or accomplishing a large number of something. Not every game supports tracking progress this way, but it's very handy when they do.

iHeartRadio

Top Xbox One apps to snap iHeartRadio Mega Man legacy Collection

Media apps like iHeartRadio currently provide only partial functionality while snapped, requiring users to make selections in full-screen mode before snapping the app. That doesn't mean it's not worth snapping; you'll just have to set them up a bit first.

iHeartRadio provides streaming access to a wide variety of internet radio stations and podcasts. The podcast support is quite cool, as the Xbox One doesn't have a dedicated podcast app yet, and iHeartRadio's podcast offerings are somewhat limited. You'll mostly use this one for the music. While snapped, your only options are to play or pause the current track or skip to the next track.

Microsoft Edge

Edge, the Xbox One's web browser, has all the same functionality when snapped as it does in full-screen mode. From the main menu, you can navigate tabs, recent pages, and favorites. Access the address bar from any open tab or start a new tab and then head to the site of your choice. It helps to use a Chatpad or USB keyboard!

With full support for favorites, tabs, and even moving a mouse cursor around with the left analog stick, Edge is functional and surprisingly robust, especially for a snapped app. I would never recommend it as a way of browsing for pleasure – not in a world where most people own personal computers and touch-screen devices. But snapping a guide from GameFAQs or XboxAchievements could be handier than looking away to a separate screen.

OneDrive

Top Xbox One apps to snap OneDrive MST3K Letter Quest

Microsoft is positioning OneDrive as the de facto source for streaming personal media to the Xbox One. Not only is OneDrive used for background music streaming, it also works quite well in a snap (get it? Oh, puns!)

The OneDrive app provides access to movies, music, and images stored in your account. While snapped, you can browse individual folders or recent files, view photos as a slide show, and watch/listen to your movies and songs.

The main appeal of using OneDrive as a snapped app is to gain access to your library of media already stored in OneDrive. Playing your media from the cloud doesn't get much more convenient than that.

Pandora

Top Xbox One apps to snap Pandora Pac-Man 256

The Pandora (opens in new tab) app doesn't fuss about with podcasts – it only streams music. Users can browse themed stations or create their own stations themed around a particular artist. For instance, I created a station around Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and the station automatically mixed in some Reel Big Fish and NOFX for good measure.

Pandora lets you play or pause the current track, vote it up or down to improve the music selection algorithm, and skip to the next track while snapped.

Skype

Top Xbox One apps to snap Skype Tylerh1701 Maldita Castilla EX

Skype is one of the most practical uses of snapping on Xbox One, enabling instant voice or video calls with friends and relatives anywhere in the world. They don't need an Xbox One – they can use Skype on nearly any other device, be it a PC, Windows 10 Phone, or even iPhone or Android.

For all the awesomeness of Skype, the snapped Xbox app has some issues. The Favorites list doesn't work (Recent Contacts is fine) and switching to a text chat brings the app to full screen. Voice and video calls work great, and those with a Kinect will have automatic video chat, which is great for multiplayer games. Or, if you don't want video, you can hide Skype and game full screen.

Skype's has some room for snapped improvement, but for voice and video calls it still provides an experience that other consoles just can't match.

TrueAchievements

Top Xbox One apps to snap TrueAchievements Neverwinter

Although the built-in Achievement app is fine for basic tracking needs, sometimes you might want more help. That's where TrueAchievements comes in, bringing much of the widely-respected TrueAchievements website's functions to Xbox One.

Upon snapping TrueAchievements, you can view recently played games (the basic Achievements app only shows one); select a game and you'll be able to sort its Achievements by several criteria. Once you find the Achievement you need help with, TrueAchievements will show you available guides and let you vote on their helpfulness. Achievement hunting is a lot easier when you've got the solution snapped to the side of your screen!

TuneIn

Top Xbox One apps to snap TuneIn Mega Man Legacy Collection

TuneIn (opens in new tab) offers streaming access to a vast number of internet radio stations, local radio stations, and podcasts. If you create a profile, you can follow stations and jump directly to them in the future. After snapping a podcast or radio station, users can play or stop the current track and select from a small assortment of recommended tracks or episodes.

I managed to find Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast with TuneIn but couldn't find the Videogamer Podcast. Still, that represents a better podcast selection than iHeartRadio's.

Twitch

Top Xbox One apps to snap Twitch Tumblestone

Twitch allows players to broadcast a game while other people watch and chat along in real-time. Xbox One gamers can both watch Twitch streams and stream their own gameplay. The snapped mode still lets you watch and read incoming comments, but leaving a comment requires going full screen.

Streaming from your Xbox One is relatively painless: set up the stream name, select the quality, hit start and you're all set. You can leave Twitch snapped and view the chat, or you can hide it away and game full screen. As chat interaction is important on Twitch, you should probably leave it snapped or have the chat open on a separate device.

Windows Central streams an Xbox One or PC game and gives out prizes to our live viewers every Saturday at 9pm ET/6pm PT. Be sure to follow us on Twitch, set a reminder on your phone, and tune in to win!

YouTube

Top Xbox One apps to snap YouTube Rare Replay

The Xbox One YouTube app is pretty good overall, though its snapped functionality leaves something to be desired. Like the internet radio apps we discussed, you can't select media while snapped — you have to open it full screen, pick a video, and then snap it back to the side.

Even without navigation functionality, the YouTube snapping feature still has some uses. You could find an Achievement guide and work on unlocking the Achievement while it plays. Or just watch or listen along to a longer video while playing a game. YouTube is the world's largest video site, so pretty much everyone will find something to watch.

Threes

Top Xbox One apps to snap Threes Twitch

Last but not least, we have the only Xbox One game that can currently be played while snapped. Threes is a puzzle game in which you combine numbered tiles on a grid. 1 and 2 make 3, and from there on up you can only combine matching tiles (3 + 3 = 6, 128 + 128 = 256).

Threes is simple for a console game, but it's a simple concept to start — and that allows the game to work in a snapped window. Alas, Microsoft added a restriction that prevents snapping games like Threes while using video streaming apps, which seriously limits snapping opportunities.

Threes is the only app in this roundup that's not free, but at $6.99 it won't break the bank, either. See our review for more details.

See on Xbox Store (opens in new tab)

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

24 Comments
  • Too bad you cannot snap HULU while playing a game. Also, I think it'd be nice if video apps floated on top of the screen and you can position it where you want it. That would take up far less real estate and wouldn't overly affect game graphics.
  • I am pretty sure that you used to be able to snap HULU and other video apps (including snapping video apps when other video apps were in the main window) before, but that feature seemed to be removed when NXOE came out.
  • Doesn't work at the moment. Maybe the Hulu UWP app will fix that.
  • The reduced snappability of video apps (and inability to snap other things while they're in the main window) seems to be intentional on Microsoft's part.
  • Snapping is no longer possible in UWP apps so I doubt it :(
  • Can they make pc games run on xbox one ? I think it will be possible in the future. Thanks to uwp
  • I think that's the ultimate goal for UWP apps on Xbox. Cross buy has happened with quantum break, and cross play is expected for Minecraft. Now they just need to convince other companies to develop games for both Xbox and PC. However, the store is lacking because steam has a monopoly over PC games. I don't know if Microsoft can do anything to fix that, like pay developers, but it needs to be done if games are to come to the Windows 10 store.
  • It's technically already possible since the Xbox is an x86 machine. But I think the way they are going to work to do it is through UWP, that MS gets a cut of the money, and it's a bit of a walled garden, which is both a blessing and a curse.
  • I know pc gamers keep hating on W10 store and the walled garden....but isnt Steam a walled garden already?
  • Steam is, I don't really think the hate is based on it being a walled garden, at least not the majority. I think the hate is due to the poor implementation of recent AAA titles. 
  • I am really hoping for a Twitter UWP that can be snapped.  Since day one Twitter has been one of the most obvious opportunities for snapping and I am amazed that it has never appeared.
  • I cant run any gwg xone game. X360 and others works, but not gwg
  • Have you deleted and reinstalled them? Are they on an internal or external drive, is said drive working for other games?
  • is your xbox live gold account still active? if not, only 360 gwg will still work if i recall correctly, but xbox one gwg will stop working once your account is no longer active.
  • There's an Twitch official app on XBox ? :O
  • Not sure if you are joking or being serious. Twitch has been on Xbox One for a while. 
  • No mention of Groove?
  • We focused on free apps, other than Threes.
  • Lots of good suggestions here. Poor Tyler though....looks scared.
  • thanks for the article.  I never snap any apps but maybe I'll try.
  • It's worth mentioning that Kinect owners can say "Xbox, snap [app name]" (or "Xbox, unsnap [app name]") to quickly bypass the 5-step process listed in the article. It makes snapping and unsnapping apps much faster than using a controller. Also, just an FYI to those that don't know, but Nutjitsu can be snapped too (although it is not playable in snap mode).
  • We used to be able to snap Netflix. That was basically the only thing I snapped. And TV. But that doesnt seemto be possible anymore?  Can you still snap TV?  I also was still able to snap the NHL app and watch games last time I checked a few months ago. 
  • I enjoy snapping Groove as well, but that won't be necessary anymore with background music in the anniversary update. This is a good list.
  • How did i missed this article ? lol. Anyway would just like to add i rarely uses snap funtions maybe more before they had this Win10 update on Xbox One? it is very slow and laggy for me for some reason, especially when we hit Help in game accidently opening a snap showing the general help info, takes awhile for me to cancel it unless i use cortana to unsnap. i might be one of those rare people who doesnt use Snap as often as others. ​Recently i found that saying Xbox Snap > Choosing Item 1-6 > when you say Item 2-3 the item listing jumps and your item 2-3 becomes item 1-2 then loses all item 3-6 > now if you insist on saying the same number again despite what is showing wrong it will still open the same app based on the first Item listing of 1-6. Its kinda buggy lately