My Views on the new Xbox App
The new updated Xbox app has launched on Android and iOS that brings with it a nice redesign to match the style of the Xbox consoles/Ecosystem and while I like what has been done with the style of the app, I’m not sure on the content that has been provided.
There are a fair few basic things missing from the redesign from what was in the old. Achievements, being able to browse the store as well as being able to redeem a code for a game, gamespass etc, also the activity feed to see what friends have been up to has also vanished. Instead now when you load up the app, you’re greeted by the last game you played telling you to jump back in, a row below this which indicates which friends are online and then another row underneath with more game you’ve recently played, which at the moment doesn’t make any sense on a mobile device telling me to jump back in, especially on iOS when game streaming isn’t available.
However, one handy new feature is that when you tap on the tiles and go to the games page, it will allow you to download that game to your Xbox whether you own it or not. So, if you’re planning on buying a game on disk and don’t want to wait for all the stuff to be downloaded, you can pre-empt this by downloading it, then when the game disk arrives, pop it into your console and voila, it should be ready for you. Same goes for digital purchases, download it ready and then when you can buy it from the digital store, simply pay and play. This I feel is going to save a lot of hassle and will allow me to prepare for new games, or purchases I am planning.
A new remote play feature has been added to the iOS version of the app, which I haven’t played around with too much, but from what I have tried of it, it wasn’t the best experience and the connection kept dropping even though when I ran the test on my console it gave me the greenlight for a good experience.
One of the main features on the old app that I used a lot was the achievements feature, I loved being able to check while I was out of the house what I needed to get and plan my next moves in whatever game I was playing, or even have it open on my phone while gaming to save constantly opening the Xbox Menu, it was handy, but it’s now been taken away.
I did read from the App team that they are looking to add it in in a future update, but to me it feels like that its a big oversight to not include it straight away, same with the store experience, being able to buy and install something on the go was a big plus for me.
It does feel like the app has been rushed out with a lot of major features that were in the old version missing, and I especially got that feeling with the development team comes out and says they’re looking to add this in a future update. It does come across that there wasn’t really much feedback from the community in regards to what they wanted to see in it and it was just done quickly to get it to match the new ecosystem.
In its current state for me, its OK, it isn’t great and that is mainly down to the missing features, but fingers crossed, it will get there soon and new features will be added in.