There’s a new Xbox app coming to mobile and it’s going to be huge for iPhone users who frequently find themselves fighting over who gets control over the TV. Microsoft recently put a new version of the Xbox app for iOS into the TestFlight testing program, signalling it’ll soon be available to the general public. The new app will put the iPhone experience in line with their Android app which was released into public beta a week ago.
The new app improves the notification system and inbox for parties, chats, new friends and followers, ready-to-share captures, as well as standard messages. It also allows players to chat and connect regardless of whether they’re on Xbox One, PC, or Xbox Series X/S. Part of the hope of the new app is that it will encourage players to take full advantage of the share button, which is being introduced on the new Xbox controllers.
Another part of the app is that it will be used to streamline the set-up experience for the new Xbox Series consoles, reducing how much of your life is lost to logging into things using a joystick. Players can use the app to choose which games to install to the console, manage the game library and as a remote control. What’s most exciting for iOS users is this will finally bring the Console Streaming preview to iPhone, with the service now called Xbox Remote Play.
Xbox Remote Play allows users to stream games directly from their Xbox One to their phone over Wi-Fi. It’s designed for folks who want to keep playing their game while other people in the household are using the TV. Xbox remote play is different to xCloud in that xCloud doesn’t require players to own either an Xbox or the game they’re playing. Remote play is merely streaming a game that is already downloaded to a user’s home Xbox console.
After Microsoft’s fight with Apple over xCloud, which ended in Apple saying they could have xCloud on iPhone only if Microsoft submitted each individual game to Apple for review, the availability of console streaming in the future seemed to be in doubt. Still, it’s great for iPhone users to have this confirmation the function is definitely coming sometime between now and November (but probably in the next couple of weeks).
Xbox Remote Play is now available to Xbox One owners outside the Insider program so Android users can start playing now, while iPhone owners can enjoy marinating in anticipation.
Another change made as part of the app launch is that Xbox Live accounts can now be signed into an unlimited number of Xbox consoles and apps. You can still only play games on one console at a time, but it means owners of multiple consoles no longer need to be concerned about someone turning on an Xbox in the other room and interrupting their game like some kind of dial-up internet throwback.