The Xbox app is an app for Windows 8, Windows 10, Android, and iOS. It acts as a companion app for Xbox video game consoles, including Xbox 360 and Xbox One video game consoles, providing access to Xbox Live community features, remote control, as well as second screen functionality (formerly branded as SmartGlass) with selected games, applications, and content.
Screenshot of the Xbox "Console Companion" app on Windows 10
|Operating system||Android, iOS, Windows 10|
On Windows 10, the app additionally serves as a launcher for PC games installed on a device (including games obtained from Microsoft Store and Steam), and provides access to the system's screen recording functions. During E3 2019, the existing version of the Xbox app for Windows 10 was renamed Xbox Console Companion, and a new Xbox app was introduced in beta. The new Xbox app on Windows 10 supports Microsoft's games-on-demand subscription service Xbox Game Pass.
Through the app, users can access their activity feed, Xbox Live friends and messages, manage their party, watch saved Game DVR clips, browse OneGuide, and view their achievements. Some games and apps can provide second screen integration via the app, displaying supplemental content. The app can also be used as a remote control for the console.
The Windows 10 version of the app allows users to stream games from an Xbox One console over a local network, and has the ability to view and edit Game DVR recordings from an Xbox One console. It also serves as a front-end for a PC version of Game DVR on supported hardware (Game DVR settings were moved to the Settings app on Windows 10 version 1703), and has a library display for games installed on the device, such as those obtained via Steam and Microsoft Store.
Xbox 360 SmartGlass was originally announced at E3 2012, for Windows 8, Android and iOS. Microsoft demonstrated use cases for the new app within both games and entertainment, including a minimap for Ascend: New Gods, a second screen experience for School of Rock with supplemental content, and Game of Thrones (with interactive maps and family tree diagrams). With the release of Xbox One in November 2013, Microsoft released an accompanying Xbox One SmartGlass app for Android, iOS, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone, which contained more extensive functionality for controlling the console.
Windows 10 introduced a revamped version of SmartGlass referred to simply as Xbox, which notably added a library display for PC games, and the ability to stream games from an Xbox One console on a local network. On June 12, 2016, the mobile versions of the Xbox One Smartglass apps were updated for parity with the desktop version, and renamed "Xbox" as well. Xbox 360 SmartGlass was not updated and was discontinued in May 2018.
On June 9, 2019, coinciding with Microsoft's E3 2019 press conference, Microsoft released a new Xbox app in beta exclusively for Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903), which has a redesigned interface, and serves as the client for Xbox Game Pass on PC. In advance of the conference, Microsoft rebranded the existing Xbox app on Windows 10 as Xbox Console Companion.
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