What you need to know
- Microsoft is working on a new Xbox companion app for mobile.
- It seems to be very early in development.
- It matches the design language of the upcoming Xbox Store redesign and other more recent Xbox apps.
The mobile app on Android (opens in new tab) and iOS (opens in new tab) for Xbox isn't exactly amazing. It does its job, but it can be a little unresponsive, and is arguably quite bloated. Much like the Windows 10 app, it also sports outdated design language, lacking any Fluent Design System flair, and fonts Microsoft is working to change across all of its apps, including the leaked updated Xbox Store.
You may have noticed that both Project xCloud and the Xbox Game Pass app (opens in new tab) on Android have a completely different design, with a simplified interface that feels more fluid, and has a bit more visual charm. Thankfully, sources familiar with Microsoft's plans have confirmed to us that the big M is also working on an overhaul of its main Xbox companion app, to compliment the rest of its services on mobile devices.
As of writing, the new Xbox mobile app is utterly a bare-bones experience, with missing interactivity and basic features. It has four sections as of right now, including your friends list with party chat, your personal profile and gaming activity, your uploaded Xbox game clips, and a home section that thus far only shows off games that are popular with your current friends list.
It looks like the app is losing several features from the existing app, including Xbox Clubs and the Activity Feed. These could be added back at a later date, but they are also absent from the Xbox (Beta) app and Xbox Game Bar on PC, making me wonder if Microsoft isn't gearing up to remove them entirely. Microsoft is also pushing users to download the new Xbox app on PC, as it gears up to remove the old "Xbox Console Companion" app on Windows 10.
There's no telling when this app will come to the general public as it seems to be very early in development, but we expect it to be ready before the Xbox Series X launches, as part of a general re-brand and modernization of the Xbox user experience.
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Jez Corden is a Senior 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!
Thank god for that its so slow and doesn't always work
It looks like Windows Phone
If there going to do this they should replace the current windows 10 store with a new modern version.
They might. That is, if anyone was actually using the store.
Yeah, I hope they should. Microsoft Store is still needed here especially for Windows 10 X and getting native UWP apps or at least better managed Win32 apps. Current state of Microsoft Store doesn't really help its own situation on why many still not using it. Store needs to be snappy and enjoyable to use, which result to discover more apps.
Will there actually be a reason to use the new app though? Activity Feed is something I really could care less about. Not that it's not fun to creep on your homies to see what they're playing, but it's hardly a front and center feature. Chat is useful. Game streaming is useful, but in another app. Claiming XBox Gold rewards from your phone would be convenient, but maybe not something Microsoft want's to encourage (if people miss a free game thats money they can make later). Viewing whats on Game Pass is alright, but thats a seperate app also, and not something I think I would continually check up on. This is one of those times where the failure of Mixer is really hurting. It would be really nice if there was streamer content in this app that made me want to open and use it. Imagine Microsoft turned it into a real Discord competitor?
I've literally never opened the xbox app on my phone. There is zero reason to. It just sits there. I'm not 11, I don't need to message my friends over Xbox live.
I hope that they also add Movies and Tv play back abilities. Could this also be the Microsoft Android apps store? There is a lot that they could do with an updated app. I am glad that they are doing this.
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