Microsoft’s Xbox One console has a reputation for offering some of the most killer games on the market as well as plenty of exclusive titles. The latest Xbox One S console improves upon the original by also adding HDR gaming support and a Blu-ray player.
But while video gaming is the focus of the Xbox One, the console is actually designed to be an all-purpose entertainment center. And in today’s world that means apps and an app store. Though the Xbox Marketplace on your Xbox One not only can you download game, but hundred and hundred of apps which open up new windows of entertainment and even productivity on your console. Here are the best Xbox One apps so far.
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By far my favorite Xbox One app is BBC iPlayer. It’s the BBC iPlayer we all know and love–just on your console. Having the app on your Xbox means you don’t need to bother switching TV inputs when you want to catch some news or BBC programming. And the best thing about the app is that you can stream live TV right through it.
Another must-have app is Netflix (if you have a Netflix account, that is). Netflix arguably has the best streaming video content in the UK, with plenty of exclusive series and generally the most well-stocked films. And if you don’t subscribe to Netflix already, grab the app anyway and sign up for the one-month free trial.
I’ve become a big fan of Amazon Prime Video (as it’s now known). The £79 yearly Amazon Prime fee gets you free shipping on products ordered via Amazon, but it also includes access to the company’s video streaming service. Their Xbox app is top notch and with it you have access to tons of films and television shows that aren’t available on Netflix. Best of all are Amazon’s original series like Man In The High Castle.
It’s weird to think they have productivity apps for Xbox one, but they do. Microsoft’s own OneDrive app is a great example. It gives you access to all the documents you store in OneDrive. While you may not want to read those Excel sheets on your TV screen, the app is great for easily viewing any video or photos you may have stored in the cloud.
One of the biggest content providers in the UK, Sky naturally has an app for Xbox. Sky TV customers with Sky Go Extra or Sky Multiscreen can use the app to view everything those membership tiers entail.
Another productivity app, Skype, is again made by Microsoft. But it’s a beautiful example of the types of apps the Xbox One supports. Skype has been specially designed for the Xbox One and it shows as it’s very easy to use with the standard Xbox controller and optional headset. You can chat with friends on your TV in HD and use Skype in “Snap mode” to chat with your friends while watching TV, which is pretty cool. Of course, you can also take part in group video calls with up to three people as well.
I never understood why people wanted to sit at their computers and watch other people play video games, which is what the Twitch service is all about. And then I downloaded the Twitch app for Xbox. Watching people play video games on your own TV from the comfort of your couch is a totally different experience. In some ways it’s funner and more exciting than your average football match. And it’s a great way to preview games you are thinking of buying.
Google is to be commended for making such a rich YouTube app for Xbox. This is another of my favorite apps simply because it puts the entire YouTube library right on your console. Matter of fact, I find myself using this app even more than apps like Netflix as there are dozens of high-quality YouTube channels I follow now that offers the kind of content I enjoy.