Ever since Microsoft relaunched its Xbox Music service as Groove in July, the company has been rolling out regular improvements to the app on PCs and phones. Earlier today, Microsoft's Ellen Kilbourne hinted at a "gigantic update"coming to Groove on Windows 10 Mobile, and she's since posted a full changelog detailing its improvements.
The update hasn't yet gone live, but Groove users certainly have a lot to look forward to, including:
- Songs and albums in your collection now sort by the date you've added them by default. You can still switch to sorting alphabetically (or by artist in the case of albums).
- You can now swipe from the left to bring up the hamburger menu. It makes it easier to use the app with a single hand!
- Press-hold to re-order tracks within a playlist.
- Previously only plays from your collection would appear in Recent Plays - now it also includes things you've played directly from Explore.[Groove Music Pass Required]
- We now show download progress in the title bar, and also provide an entry point to the download manager from within the left nav menu. This aligns with what the Movies & TV app includes.
- Tell Cortana to 'Play Electronic' and she will shuffle all your electronic music for you. [where Cortana is supported]
- In the event that, during an upgrade, we need to rebuild the database (this should be very infrequent), we'll show a little explanatory dialog explaining what's happening.
- If we detected songs which are duplicated between OneDrive and Music Pass we pop a notification asking if you'd like us to automatically remove them.
- We reverted the recent change to the font size of the song title in Now Playing. It's smaller now.
Some of these changes are clearly more significant than others, but lots of little changes have the potential to add up to a better overall experience. Of course, Groove's users will have the final say on whether Microsoft has succeeded there.
Additionally, Microsoft has made improvements to Groove Music's functionality when using the app via a connected display in Phone Continuum mode:
- We've updated the layout of the artist gallery to have proper spacing, alignment and remove the color-matched square backgrounds.
- We've added the Explore modules to the Artist Details page at larger resolutions. [Groove Music Pass Required]
- We've updated the layout of Explore at higher resolutions to look correct, and also respond better to scroll wheel. The modules also have a flipper control to allow scrolling within the page. [Groove Music Pass Required]
- Updates to the Search results page layouts to look good at higher resolutions.
- Updates to the layout of the Add to menu at higher resolutions.
- Updates to the layout of the Recent Plays gallery at higher resolutions.
Once the update goes live later today, the Groove app will be bumped up to version 3.6.1573.0.
Update (3:41pm ET): The update is now rolling out - be sure to let us know what you think of it in the comments below.