Xbox PC app gets a boost, ditching Electron for React Native UWP

Microsoft appears to be reworking its Xbox beta app for PC, dropping the Electron framework, with significant performance improvements. The new Xbox app first launched on Windows 10 last year, hosting Xbox Game Pass for PC, as Microsoft looks to position the app as its next gaming hub on Windows 10 devices. This currently includes dedicated Xbox Game Pass integration, social functionality and a streamlined storefront, aligned with the new Xbox Game Bar experience.

While the new Xbox app debuted as the Electron app, a popular framework for building desktop apps, it’s now moving to React Native as a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app. Microsoft appears to be taking advantage of Facebook’s open source framework through the latest version of Fast Ring, switching to C ++ on .NET. It comes just a few days since Skype switched from React Native to Electron, highlighting two contrasting approaches to flagship app development.

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While the Electron framework is widely adopted for application development, React Native offers a lighter native experience on Windows. The result is reduced memory usage, reduced by over 50% on our PCs, with significant performance improvements as a result. The app install size has also decreased from almost 300MB to 60MB.

The functionality of the Xbox app remains too unchanged, serving as the central hub for Xbox Game Pass PC, currently offering over 100 titles for a monthly plan of $ 10 free. The app also offers a personalized storefront better suited to basic games, as well as the social essentials for Xbox Live.

Switching to React Native appears to be limited to Windows 10 Fast Ring upon release, likely to spread to other users over time. The new trial version is 2004.2000.29 , which is up from 2003.1001.4.0. If you want to try out the current Xbox Beta app for yourself, you need to at least run the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, with the app available for download here.

An in-depth look at the new Windows 10 Xbox app

All you can play

Xbox Game Pass for PC

More games than you’ll ever need

Microsoft’s Netflix-style subscription service extends to PCs, offering a variety of titles for a monthly subscription. From blockbuster franchises to experimental independents, Xbox Game Pass has value for everyone.

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