Microsoft's Xbox division is off to a strong start this week, with the company announcing the acquisition on ZeniMax Media, owner of Bethesda, earlier today. But that's not all for today, as Microsoft has also announced a new Xbox app for Android devices, which is now available in beta.
The new app has been rebuilt from the ground up, and it's designed to keep Xbox gamers connected wherever they are. First off, and perhaps most notably, there's the addition of Xbox remote play. Microsoft launched its cloud streaming service as part of Game Pass Ultimate last week, but this is referring to Xbox console streaming, which lets you connect to your console at home to play any game you have on it. Microsoft has renamed it to remote play, and now, you don't have to be an Xbox Insider to be able to do it.
Next up, there's a new unified notification center, where everything from party invites to friend requests and messages will show up. Notifications are synced across devices, so if you dismiss them on your phone, they won't be visible on your console either.
The notification center will also let you know when you have captured a screenshot or video on another device, and let you share it directly from the Xbox app. This is made easier by the new Xbox Wireless Controller and its dedicated share button, which are arriving alongside the Xbox Series X and S.
Another big feature of the app is the ability to use both text and voice chat with other Xbox friends and in parties. Additionally, the profile page has been redesigned, with a new Highlights section showing off videos or images you shared recently. In the About section, you can also see what games people have been playing, their Gamerscore, and more.
Finally, Microsoft says you'll be able to use the Xbox app to setup your Xbox Series X or S console when it launches in November. The company says this should be much faster, which makes sense considering how much easier it is to navigate smartphone interfaces. To do this, you can use the new unified search bar to search for "set up a console" to get started.
The new Xbox beta app is only available for Android, at least for now. You can download it here if you want to try the new features right now. Microsoft also announced that you can now sign into your Xbox account on as many devices as you want starting today. You'll still only be able to play games on one device at a time, but you can use a console to watch movies on your TV while gaming on your phone, for example.