Enhanced Xbox App: Microsoft Improving Handheld Gaming on Windows 11

Microsoft has begun testing out some new changes to its Xbox app on Windows 11. These updates are specifically aimed at making the experience better for smaller screens and handheld devices. In the recent test version of the Xbox app, Microsoft introduced a “compact mode.” This mode makes the left-hand menu smaller.

The idea behind this smaller menu is to make things easier to see and use on smaller screens like the 7-inch display of the ROG Ally. Windows 11 can feel a bit crowded on devices like the ROG Ally, so these changes to the Xbox app are a good start in the direction of making a special mode for handheld devices on Windows.

Earlier this year, there were some early designs leaked from a Microsoft project that showed a concept for a “Windows handheld mode.” These included a floating taskbar, improvements to the game launcher, and changes to the Xbox app. However, this was more of a trial version created before devices like the ROG Ally and Lenovo’s Legion Go were even announced.

The ROG Ally by Asus is becoming known as the go-to portable device for playing Xbox games through PC Game Pass. Even the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, expressed his liking for the ROG Ally, calling it his “Xbox on the go” in an interview with Eurogamer. However, Microsoft is aware that there’s still a lot more to be done to enhance the experience. Spencer mentioned in a tweet that they are dedicated to making the Xbox and Game Pass experience great on devices like the Ally but admitted there’s more work ahead.

These recent updates to the Xbox app might seem small, but they are an important initial step toward larger improvements for handheld devices running on Windows. Additionally, Microsoft has hinted at bringing features like Quick Resume to Windows gamers and is committed to collaborating with game publishers to create a smoother gaming experience across different devices.

About The Reporter

Ashley Riordan
Ashley Riordan
Gaming News Reporter
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Ashley Riordan is a seasoned gaming news reporter with over a decade of experience in the industry. His in-depth knowledge and passion for the evolving landscape of video games have made him a go-to source for gaming enthusiasts worldwide. Riordan’s dedication to delivering timely, accurate, and engaging gaming news has solidified him as a respected authority in the field.

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