The first universal Windows apps are finally here. Microsoft recently announced plans to unify apps across Windows 10 and Xbox One. Today, those plans quietly claim to fruition as Microsoft announced its first universal Windows apps.
Microsoft revealed those apps in a press release from its 2016 Build developers conference. The first apps that will be available across platforms include:
All of these companies are launching Xbox versions of their Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps later this year. All four of these companies already have apps in the Windows store. So by launching on Xbox, they’ll become the first apps available with identical functionality across both platforms.
Hulu is Already Available on Xbox One and Windows 10
Hulu already has a platform for Windows 10 and a native app for the Xbox One. However, the Windows 10 version is much more powerful. It lets you play videos using “Hey Cortana” voice commands, for example. Hulu has, however, announced similar features for this summer’s upcoming Xbox One release.
It’s All Coming with the Anniversary Update this Summer
Microsoft will officially unify the Windows Store and Xbox One stores into a single marketplace this summer as part of its Anniversary Update.
Microsoft hasn’t yet revealed exactly how that update will work. Windows app developers will still have to format their apps for the console (and vice versa). However, Microsoft continues to insist that all purchases will carry over between the Windows Store and Xbox One.
Ultimately, this Means More Apps for Xbox One and Windows Users
The most important thing to get from this news is that more apps are coming in the near future. To date, the Xbox One has been a strictly-controlled platform with only a small number of Microsoft-approved entertainment apps available.
Widening the Xbox One store to include Windows apps and UWP apps will broaden the selection for Xbox One users, making the console more in-line with the offerings from Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV, among others.
Meanwhile, Windows users should enjoy a larger number of games – and good games are sorely needed on the current Windows store.