The Xbox One S and Xbox One X, are first and foremost game consoles. But they’re also fine alternatives to set-top boxes like the Apple TV or the Roku. You can stream movies, catch up on your favorite TV shows, and even watch live programming. Plus, you can make calls from the couch, share your game feed with friends, and stream some tunes.
Here are the best Xbox One apps you can download now to your Xbox One S or Xbox One X.
The Spotify app on Xbox lets you jam out to your favorite tracks on their own or in the background of your gaming session. Customize your listening experience remotely from your smartphone or via the Xbox One's Guide menu. Whether you have a free, unlimited, or premium account, Spotify provides access to over 35 million songs and prearranged playlists based on your listening habits. And if you're a fan of video game soundtracks, you can take advantage of Spotify's dedicated game playlists, including hits from Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and others.
If you're looking for a mix of songs by top artists and emerging talent, SoundCloud is the Xbox One music app for you. Get access to SoundCloud's expansive collection that's playable in the background to your game, or integrate personal playlists from your account. Better yet, utilize the app's hands-free innovation to play, pause or skip tracks with Cortana voice commands.
Microsoft's game-streaming service Mixer provides speedy live broadcasts that livestreaming fanatics will appreciate. Customizable soundboards and visual elements to co-streams allow interactivity between streamers and viewers in a fun and personal way, while simple setup makes it easy to stream from anywhere at any time with your Xbox One. When you're not broadcasting or watching a stream, you can socialize with other members directly through the chat feature or community forum. Best of all, Mixer is built right into your Xbox One -- there’s no need to download an app from the store.
The Xbox One's YouTube app offers streaming access to billions of videos. You can also check out some of the original content recently released on YouTube, like Squad Wars and Mind Field. To access that original content, however, you'll need a YouTube Premium subscription, which costs $12 per month. You can even use this app to upload your gameplay clips directly to YouTube.
Sling TV offers live TV without cable, letting you stream dozens of channels over the air, from CNN and ESPN to HGTV and Comedy Central. The service also features an impressive number of on-demand shows and movies. Subscriptions start at a reasonable $25, and you can get all Sling channels for $40 per month. Check out the difference between the Sling Orange and Sling Blue packages to see what each tier offers.
Amazon Prime Video
If you're an Amazon Prime subscriber, you should definitely download Amazon Prime Video to your Xbox One. The app gives you access to all your favorite Amazon shows, like The Man in the High Castle and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, but also offers a nice selection of movies and television shows.
If you’re a fan of NBC programming, you might want to consider downloading the NBC app to your Xbox One. The free app lets you watch the latest episodes and clips from NBC shows the day after they air. You can also stream your location station live, if you have a cable or satellite subscription.
Similar to the NBC app, the CBS app lets you watch CBS programming both live and on demand. It offers access to a variety of shows, like The Twilight Zone, The Good Fight, and others, and you can also watch live sporting events from it. It’s available for free.
Starz is a popular movie channel that lets you watch all kinds of blockbuster films. And with it on your Xbox, you can stream the Starz content with ease. The app is free to download, but you will need to sign up for Starz streaming after your free trial expires. Starz costs $8.99 per month after your seven-day free trial expires.
The UFC TV app is perfect for anyone who enjoys combat sports. The app allows you to watch UFC pay-per-view events live from the Xbox One and gives you the option of signing up for UFC Fight Pass, so you can stream live events, check out older fights on-demand, and watch original UFC content. UFC Fight Pass goes for $7.99 per month with a 12-month commitment.
The Pandora app on the Xbox lets you listen to your favorite tunes even while you continue to play. You can rock out with the app in the background, and can easily adjust tracks and volume on the fly via the Xbox One's Guide menu. A free account provides easy access to up to 100 personalized stations. There' are also some video game stations on Pandora, including Game Day Rap and Battle Ready Radio.
If you're looking to be entertained, Netflix is a great app for the Xbox. It comes with all the Netflix Originals you want to see, including Ozark, Black Mirror and Orange Is the New Black, and the movie selection is better than it used to be, thanks in part to Netflix’s own films like Bird Box and Roma.
Skype's built-in app is ideal if you want to communicate with friends over your television. Just download the app and make sure you have a webcam ready to plug in to your Xbox One. From there, you can place video calls. The app also lets you chat and call both Skype users and landlines.
The Amazon-owned Twitch offers an Xbox One app to extend the appeal of the console's gaming features. From the Twitch app, you can watch the live-streaming platform's millions of broadcasters, who stream everything from basic playthroughs to live talk shows. And if you're so inclined, you can stream your own gaming antics through the service.
The ESPN app is an ideal option if you're a sports fan. You can watch Sportscenter and other programming live, and you can access all kinds of game highlights and clips. The app also offers access to original ESPN shows like 30 for 30. If you're interested, you can access your fantasy sports teams, too.
If you're a Showtime subscriber through your cable or satellite provider, Showtime Anytime is the app for you. Just input your account credentials, and you'll be able to stream whatever is currently available on the service. You'll get access to Showtime's own shows like Billions and Homeland.
HBO Now is a great app if you want to access the network's content but don't want to pay for a cable or satellite subscription. Just sign up for HBO Now ($14.99 per month) and access everything from the network's newer series, like Crashing and Game of Thrones, to its iconic classics, like The Sopranos. You can also check out HBO's movies, documentaries and sports programming.
Hulu's streaming app is about what you'd expect from the app: a repository for you to check out all the latest episodes of your favorite shows. So, you'll find Family Guy and The Blacklist here, but you'll also find access to some popular movies. You'll need a Hulu subscription to stream content. Hulu costs $5.99 per month with limited commercials, and the No Commercials plan is $11.99. You can even watch Hulu with Live TV from the Xbox One with help from its $39.99 plan.
Wrestling fans can check out the ever-growing repository of content available through the WWE Network app. You can stream old matches between some of your favorites, like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock, or check out newer fights with John Cena and AJ Styles. The WWE Network app even lets you stream all of its pay-per-view events, including Wrestlemania.
Vevo's Xbox One app gives you access to a seemingly endless number of new and old music videos. Once you have a Vevo account, you can boot up the app, find your artist of choice, and see all the music videos in the service. You can also watch artist-related clips and other content.
In addition to the standard YouTube app on Microsoft’s Xbox One, you can also access the YouTube TV app from the console. With YouTube TV, you can stream live television to your Xbox One without needing a cable or satellite subscription. You will, however, need a YouTube TV subscription, which will set you back $40 a month to access the service’s more than 60 channels.
Plex for Xbox One
Plex is a popular media server that allows you to keep all of your favorite movies, television shows, movies, and other multimedia in one spot and access it wherever you are. The app on the Xbox One lets you access all of that content and watch it on your television. You can also sign up for Plex Pass and watch and record over-the-air television from the app. Plex Pass costs $5 per month or $40 per year or $120 for a lifetime subscription.