While Microsoft’s Xbox One console is well-known for its growing video games library, one of the most popular aspects of the system is its huge collection of apps that provide a wide variety of media consumption options that many console owners may be unaware of.
To make Xbox One app discovery easier, I decided to ask two of WinBeta’s biggest gamers, Kareem and Cameron, which apps they use and would recommend to other Xbox One owners. Here’s what they had to say as well as my own personal recommendations.
I use the official YouTube app to watch a multitude of collected channels I'm subscribed to on YouTube. It really is like watching TV but with even more content and all of it being on demand and accessible from almost any device.
I'm a TWC (Time Warner Cable) subscriber and the app, while not perfect, allows me to watch a number of shows in a convenient fashion. It’s kind of like Hulu. Most mainstream network shows are there and they keep the most recent episodes stocked. I also use the OneDrive app to showcase photos and trips during family or friend get-togethers. The app has a sort of slideshow feature that displays images saved to OneDrive in a fairly nice way. People should use this more often.
Cameron: I’m a big fan of Plex. For some casual Xbox One users, this app can be very confusing though. Basically, if you’re a huge movie buff like myself and have a massive collection of movies saved to various hard drives, cloud storage and/or PCs, you need Plex in your life. What Plex does for me is take the movies I’ve collected and organizes them with the proper metadata from the internet in a pretty, easily selected design.
This means having an alphabetically ordered movie collection, movie trailers for each film, subtitle options, IMDB links, cover art for each film, options to list which movies you've watched and those you haven’t, all categorized in whatever folders you choose, synced remotely from your PC!
If you have gigabytes of movies on your computer, Plex will help get those from a laundry list, to a proper movie list, like your own personal Netflix.
Myself: I use my Xbox One a lot for media consumption and often find myself using the apps more than the actual video games in my library. My most-used Xbox One app would definitely have to be the YouTube app which is great for watching all the YouTube channels I’m subscribed to (like WinBeta). The second would be the official Al Jazeera app which provides a free stream of the live Al Jazeera broadcast which is rather exceptional considering the channel is part of several paid cable packages down here in Australia. The app also has a large collection of the latest episodes of several Al Jazeera shows as well as short clips of the latest headlines. Al Jazeera is one of the few news channels that refrains from gossip and fluff and focuses on unbiased international news. Well worth checking out.
Other Xbox One apps I use regularly are Netflix, Vevo, and Pandora. The latter two apps are fantastic to have running on the TV when friends are over for a few drinks. Vevo is a free HD music video service that has a massive library of classic and new music videos while Pandora is the Xbox One version of the popular streaming music app which is also available on other platforms such as Windows phone.
Do you use any Xbox One apps that we don’t? What apps would you recommend to other users? Let us know in the comments below.