Have you been dreaming of building the next great app for your Xbox One? Always wanted to build an app for your gaming console? Do you see the big black or white box, hooked up to that big screen and wish you could run your app there?

Now you can!

UWP apps on Xbox

Whether you bring your existing UWP app to Xbox or create engaging new concepts, Xbox delivers new audiences, more users, an amazing and dedicated community, and a great new place for your app to shine: the living room.

Learn how to get started developing apps and games for the Universal Windows Platform on Xbox One. The documentation includes setup steps, a guide through the authentication process, information on installing the required version of Visual Studio and Windows 10 tools, and the steps to build, run, and debug your first simple application. Because your new audience may be viewing your UI from 10 feet away, and may favor entertainment over productivity, developing for Xbox brings new design challenges and opportunities. We’ve included helpful guidance for designing apps that look great on larger screens and that provide an engaging and exciting 10-foot experience.

If you are more interested in games than apps, we encourage you to register for [email protected] and join our community of independent developers and enthusiasts. You don’t need to be an [email protected] developer to experiment, create and test games on your Xbox, but you do need to enroll with [email protected] if you want to publish and sell your game on Xbox One or take advantage of Xbox Live on Windows 10.

Follow these steps


  1. Get started today!
    Want to jump right in? Read the Getting started guide to understand how to activate Dev Mode on your console and start building your first app!
  2. Learn more about UWP on Xbox One ,
    Learn everything you need to know about UWP development on Xbox One.
  3. Design for the right audience!
    Want to create an immersive living room experience that will delight your users and take full advantage of large screen TVs? Read our Design for TV and Xbox guide lines.
  4. Get Support!
    Use the forum to ask and answer questions, visit our FAQ page and most important, read the Known issues with Xbox Development.

App Dev on Xbox Event

Immerse yourself in the big screen with Xbox App development and join us for our live event on August 30, 2016 featuring speakers directly from the engineering group. Learn about how to get started developing experiences that shine on the TV and beyond. From building Native apps to reusing your existing Web Apps, learn what is new in the anniversary update of the Universal Windows Platform that will enable you to build beautiful experiences that work with any input modality from the mouse to the game controller. Finally, with the Windows Store open to anyone, learn how to take your application and publish it to the store for anyone to use on any of the 300+ Million Windows Devices including the Xbox One.

Following the live [On Demand] event, get inspired to develop for the living room and beyond by following the inspirational app dev series via reading the weekly blogs or watching the weekly videos focused on different app scenarios. Learn about powerful platform features that will enrich your apps and dive into the open source code to learn even more.

Tailoring your app for Xbox and the TV (App Dev on Xbox series)

As promised, we are continuing the wave of sharing what we kicked off last week during the “App Dev on Xbox” event. Every week for the next two months, we will be releasing a new blog post where we will focus on a specific topic around UWP app development where Xbox One will be the hero device. With each post, we will be sharing a demo app experience around that topic, and open sourcing the source code on GitHub so anyone can download it and learn from it.

For the first blog post, we thought we’d continue the conversation around premium experiences, or better said, how to take your beautiful app and tailor it for the TV in order to delight your users.


The Premium Experience

Apps built with the Anniversary Update SDK “just work” on Xbox and your users are able to download your apps from the store the same way they do on the desktop and the phone. And even if you have not tested your app on Xbox, the experience in most cases is acceptable. Yet, acceptable is not always enough and as developers we want our apps to have the best experience possible; the premium experience. In that spirit, let’s cover seven (7) things to consider when adapting your app for the TV premium experience.

Fourth Coffee is a sample news application that works across the desktop, phone, and Xbox One and offers a premium experience that takes advantage of each device’s strengths. We will use Fourth Coffee as the example to illustrate the default experience and what it takes to tailor it to get the best experience. All code below comes directly from the app and each code snippet is linked directly to the source in the repository which is open to anyone.

1. Optimize for the Gamepad

2. Layout and Size

3. Focus Visuals

4. TV Safe Area

5. TV Safe Colors

6. Snapped system apps

7. System Media Controls

That’s all folks

Now that you have familiarity what it takes to optimize your app experience for the TV, it’s time to get your hands dirty and try it out. Checkout out the app source on our official GitHub page, watch the event if you missed it, and let us know what you think through the comments bellow or on Twitter.

This is just the beginning. Next week we will release another app experience and go in depth on how to create even richer app experiences with XAML and Unity. We will also cover how to create app services and extensions for your apps so other developers can build experiences that compliment your apps.

… [See the code and read the post]

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