The new Xbox app for mobile finally launched on iOS and Android back on Monday after being made available in Beta for the past few weeks, and the reception so far has been somewhat mixed.
On the plus side, it includes some fantastic features such as a streamlined set-up feature for new consoles (including the Xbox Series X|S), the ability to share screenshots and clips from your phone to social media and via messages, an option to download games before you buy them, and the superb addition of Remote Play.
However, the trade-off for this appears to have been the removal of some key features such as Achievements and the lack of a Store experience, which fans have been quick to point out on social media.
Here's what appears to be missing from the app at the time of writing:
- Achievement tracker
- The ability to change your Gamerpic
- A full Xbox Store experience (with redeem code option)
- The 'Looking for Group' feature
- Activity Feed
In response to a question about Achievements specifically, Xbox principal program manager Harrison Hoffman recently confirmed that the team is looking into adding these to the app in the future.
"Agreed! We love Achievements too and look forward to bringing them to this app in the future. Can't share much beyond that yet."
It might be some time yet though, and while we've been really pleased with the new additions to the app (particularly Remote Play), we'd definitely like to see the return of Achievements, Gamerpics and a full Xbox Store experience to complete the package.
Have you tried out the new Xbox app yet? Give us your thoughts on it in the comments below.
Coming over from Playstation I can't fathom why you can't buy games through the app. If MS adds that I'll be a happy camper.
@gollumb82 It was possible with the old app.
The new app could be better than the old one, but not until the missing features are added.
@gollumb82 You used to be able to buy games through the app. I've bought almost all my games since 2018 that way (a handful on PC or on the console itself, more often than not X360 games that you couldn't buy through the app since it's technically kind of the old store grafted onto the modern store.)
The last game I bought through the app was Outer Worlds in....I guess it was June, around the sale for the "what would have been E3 week sale." And then a week or two later I went to buy something else and suddenly the "buy to own" buttons were all missing and replaced with "install on XBox One" buttons that did nothing when pressed. And where games used to tell me I own or don't own the game already, they all have that same "install on XBox One" button.
I'm not sure what happened or why it happened, but for some reason after years of working, the app seemed to have removed the ability to purchase through it just a few months ago. I use Android, but that was around the time Apple started making their fuss about IAP and them getting cuts of purchases made on their devices and all. I'm wondering if somehow it relates to the battles over app store royalties?
I miss that feature though. I used it constantly. I've been annoyed, hoping it was just a glitch they'd fix, but a apparently not.
Has anybody else heard rumors or statements about what on earth happened there and if there are any plans to bring back the functionality of a store app? @FraserG ?
@NEStalgia Harrison Hoffman (the Xbox principal program manager referenced in the article) was asked about the ability to buy games with the new Xbox app, and said this:
"Thanks for the feedback! While we don't offer direct purchase in the app, you can actually pre-download any game in the catalog to your console, then purchase on your console when you're ready to play."
@FraserG Thanks! Wow, so that's a hard "no"..... That's just....weird, honestly. They had a working app, that worked better than Sony's app, and not just scrapped it in a new app, but also disabled it months ago in the old app.
There's definitely something screwy going on.
Meanwhile Sony's new app supposedly does let you purchase and has a redesigned (if ugly minimalist) new shopping app. Their old one did, too though if using PayPal they forced you to use a PC to check out your cart. You could still load your cart though.
That's pretty disappointing, I've been waiting for it to work again since July.
That's too bad. I bought all my PS4 games through the PS store app so that's a downer. I can live with it but it'a still a hassle to buy everything using a PC or from a console.
@gollumb82 it's not ideal, but if it's easier you can still use your phone's web browser. At least until they sort this out.
Yeah, that's what I was thinking of doing. Luckily, probably won't buy a game on my XSX for quite a bit, what with Game Pass and Cyberpunk 2077 already pre-ordered
I'm sure it won't taking too long to integrate some features into.
what I think is really good as they voted to pre-download before you buy
I hate the new app. I have no idea what they were thinking taking away features from the old app. 🤦♂️
And fix the app icon to have the proper shade of green again, for the love of......🙄
Add in a proper Xbox store and this app would be great, it doesn't help that even the web page store isn't very good either
Why would Microsoft remove an avenue for browsing the store and making a purchase?
I used to use the app to view the 'Games with Gold (or Deals with Gold) and pick them up from there.
They're going to be losing a lot of money from those not near their consoles (Work/Holidays/Internet or Console problems). Idiots.
I hate it. Sure the old one crashed all the time but the main reason I used it was to see what achievements I had left in some games and to see how my friends are coming along with their achievements
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