Microsoft’s Xbox app for PC has been reworked to be speedier and more responsive. Since its launch, the app has served as a hub to unite Xbox’s store, Game Pass, and various social features. Since released, it has run as an Electron application, which is a framework to build desktop apps. Now, the app will move from Electron to React Native, effectively becoming a Universal Windows Platform app.
This change has not yet rolled out to all users. Instead, Microsoft has opted to first release this version of the Xbox PC app to its Insider Program via Windows 10 Fast Ring.
What does the change to UWP mean?
Xbox PC app ran on Electron, which is very popular for app building on Windows. In fact, many platforms – including Discord and Slack – were built with this. However, the Universal Windows Platform does come with advantages, as it was directly developed by Microsoft. The React Native base of UWP, then, should result in a seamless and speedy experience on Windows.
Windows Central has reported that, on its tests, the newer UWP version of the Xbox PC app cut memory usage by 50%. Those tests also reported noticeable performance improvements. This is certainly a welcome upgrade, as the old version often saw performance issues in the past. Additionally, the app has dropped from a 300 MB installation size to a mere 60 MB, greatly benefitting those with smaller SSDs.
At the moment, this change to UWP has only made the app faster and lighter. With that said, this upgrade likely won’t improve your gaming performance at all. Microsoft hasn’t changed or added any new functionality to the Xbox PC app. One has to wonder if this could change in the future, though. The app is currently still in its beta stage, after all, so changes and upgrades could happen.