Expanded Phone Connectivity
Smartphones are a part of our daily lives. Thanks to advances in technology, these devices help us find stores, keep track of our appointments, and even play games. One app even lets our smartphones play multiple roles in the Xbox experience.
Most of the Xbox phone app’s uses are front and center. Gamers can use the app to check out news for their favorite games, chat with friends, and share their latest screengrabs and recordings. But the program’s true strength lies in its ability to serve as a universal remote for the Xbox.
For instance, players can manage their Xbox Series X/S storage without ever turning it on, thanks to the Xbox app. Starting and uninstalling games is as easy as a few swipes on the smartphone screen, but the app can also install games onto the console. Players aren’t even limited to the games they own; the app’s search function can install any game someone wants on the console. What good does this do? Why, it gives players a headstart on downloading games so that they can install them at work, buy it at home, and play without any extra wait.
Players can also use the Xbox app as a literal remote. On its home screen near the top is a button that opens a menu with the option “Open remote control.” This feature opens a new tab that turns the phone into a makeshift Xbox controller. It’s nowhere near as robust as an actual controller, but it works when someone wants to watch a movie on their Xbox Series X/S and not waste controller batteries. Alternatively, the app doubles as a remote screen. Simply tap the same button that brought up the aforementioned menu and select “Remote play on this device.” The Xbox will then start streaming to the smartphone, albeit with a tiny amount of lag. It’s not the best way to play a game, but it works in a pinch when the console’s television is otherwise preoccupied with entertaining other people.
Bragging rights only get you so far if you can’t back them up. As they say on the internet, “Pics or it didn’t happen.” Achievements act as proof of gamers’ digital exploits, but they’re not always easy to track. Unless you’re using the Xbox Series X/S, that is.
One of the Xbox’s better quality of life improvements is its Achievement Tracker. This feature’s name sums up its function succinctly: it tracks achievements. The console places an overlay on the screen that displays several achievements you have yet to earn and how long you have to go for each one. Simple but effective.