What do you want to know

  • The new Xbox app beta for Windows 10 moves from Electron to React Native UWP with its latest Fast Ring release.
  • The change appears to bring significant performance benefits while reducing the size of its installation.
  • The new Xbox app beta is available for download through the Microsoft Store. (opens in a new tab)

Microsoft appears to be reworking its Xbox beta app for PC, ditching 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 an 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 leveraging Facebook’s open-source framework through the latest version of Fast Ring, moving to C++ over .NET. It comes just days after Skype switched from React Native to Electron, highlighting two contrasting approaches to flagship app development.

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

The functionality of the Xbox app remains unchanged, serving as a central hub for Xbox Game Pass PC, currently offering over 100 titles for a free $10 monthly plan. The app also features a custom storefront better suited to core games, as well as essential social elements for Xbox Live.

The move to React Native appears to be limited to Windows 10 Fast Ring at press time, likely to expand to other users over time. The new trial version is 2004.2000.29 , up from 2003.1001.4.0. If you want to try out the current Xbox beta app yourself, you should at least be running the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, with the app available for download here. (opens in a new tab)

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

Thanks, Nero, for the tip!

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