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Microsoft is improving its Xbox app for Windows handheld gaming PCs

The new compact mode in the Xbox app. | Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

Microsoft has started testing new updates to its Xbox app on Windows 11 that improve the experience on handheld devices and smaller screens. In an Xbox test app released earlier this week, Microsoft has introduced a new compact mode that greatly reduces the sidebar on the left-hand side.

Compact mode is designed to improve “the experience on handhelds and small screens,” according to Microsoft — it also works on any size screen. It’s a relatively minor UI change, but very welcome on devices like the ROG Ally where you only have a 7-inch display. Windows 11 is a pretty cramped experience on the ROG Ally, and improvements to the Xbox app are an encouraging first step towards what we hope will be some type of handheld mode for Windows.

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