A new Xbox app is out now in beta for Android smartphones and tablets, bringing with it a new feature that will let you pre-download games even if you haven’t purchased them yet.
One of the most frustrating realities of modern gaming is having to wait to download patches on launch day, especially if you’re still inclined to purchase games physically. With this new Xbox app, you’ll be able to schedule and initiate pre-downloads for any game before it releases, letting you immediately get into it once you pop in the disc.
Although not explicitly mentioned in the post, users of the new app have already found the ability to pre-download any game (via Wario64 on Twitter). It shows how a prompt will warn you that you do not own the game you’re about to download, requiring a purchase before it can be launched.
This addition goes hand in hand with Console Streaming, which Microsoft is unlocking for everyone on the new version of this Xbox app. This will let you stream Xbox games to your phone or tablet, like remote play functionality on the PS4. This feature has been in testing for some time and is separate to Cloud Gaming (formerly xCloud), which Microsoft also launch in a few regions for Android recently.
Other updates include a move towards the unified platform that Microsoft has talked about in the past, letting the new app act as an extension of the functionality on your Xbox. This means you’ll be able to answer party requests, join party chat, share screenshots, and more with the new app.
Microsoft made no suggestion as to when the iOS Xbox app will receive this update, similar to how the company isn’t sure yet when it will be able to support Cloud Gaming on Apple devices thanks to the company’s more stringent terms of service. Apple recently made a change to them allowing streaming if Microsoft listed each supported game on Apple’s App Store, which Microsoft rejected.