Microsoft Supercharges Windows 10’s Game Bar With Spotify, Chat Integration

Microsoft is rolling out a fairly massive update to the Game Bar on Windows 10. The company is introducing a number of new features for the Game Bar that will let you do things quicker while still being in a game.

Spotify integration is now coming to the Game Bar, so you will be able to easily control playback while you are playing a game via the Game Bar by pressing the Win+G shortcut. Even if you have the Spotify app installed on your device, you will have to sign-in to your Spotify account separately on Game Bar for the feature to work, and it will appear as a regular widget on the Game Bar, where you can control playback.

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Microsoft is also introducing a new Xbox Social widget that lets you see what your friends are playing and who’s online. With the new Xbox Social widget, you can easily chat with y our friends, watch their Mixer stream, or voice chat them right from the Game Bar.

Game Bar’s Capture feature is also getting a new feature that lets you overlay text to your screenshots to turn your screenshots into memes and share them wherever you’d like. And lastly, Microsoft is introducing the ability to configure the Game Bar overlay to let you hide whatever widget you want.

The new features for Game Bar are rolling out as an app update to the Game Bar app in Windows 10. The update is only available to Insiders running Windows 10 build 17763 or newer.

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Conversation 6 comments

  • Stokkolm

    04 April, 2019 - 6:48 pm

    <p>Awesome. Their smart to do this to compete with the overlays from Steam, uPlay, etc…</p>

  • SebastianZHD

    05 April, 2019 - 9:31 am

    <p>Finally upping their SHIFT+TAB game. Actually looks really good. Too bad the game store is still trash relative to Steam.</p>

  • gregsedwards

    Premium Member
    05 April, 2019 - 11:13 am

    <p>I've always felt the "Game Bar" is too limited to one specific use-case. It really should be expanded for more general "broadcasting" applications. I feel that something like this could replace a lot of the current web meeting tools, which are always quirky because they don't integrate deeply within the OS. </p><p>Think of how sharing works in something like Skype/Skype for Business right now. You have to choose the window you want to share, and then you have an cumbersome app bar with sharing controls floating in front of your window. When you want to annotate or interact with what's being shared, you have to go through that bar. And every app provides a different toolset and layout. Sometimes controls are buried within the meeting app, forcing you to dig down in the plumbing to change your camera or audio, for instance.</p><p>With recording and broadcasting support built right into the OS like they're doing with the Game Bar, it would be effortless to interact with your application(s), while staying connected to other people and settings through these semi-transparent overlays. The fact that you can "hack" non-game applications to take advantage of the Game Bar seems to me like evidence that its applications extend far beyond just gaming.</p>

  • Omen_20

    05 April, 2019 - 1:23 pm

    <p>I've wondered for a while if Snapchat would make sense inside of Microsoft. Seeing this week's news of Snapchat stories being added to other apps like Tinder, and now Xbox screenshots being able to be memed, I'm more sure of it.</p><p><br></p><p>I've noticed young teens transition from Snapchat when out of the house to Xbox Live as soon as they get in front of the TV. They throw on the headset and jump into a party chat.</p><p><br></p><p>I think Microsoft should marry the two and really integrate Skype into Xbox. Get the users to see it as Houseparty with all their existing friends when they're away from the TV. Let them play around with AR features using the Avatar. Make stories in Snapchat from what them and their friends are doing in game.</p><p><br></p><p>If Microsoft bought them, it'd be interesting to see what would happen between Avatars and Bitmoji.</p>

  • skane2600

    06 April, 2019 - 2:49 am

    <p>I didn't even know there was a "Game Bar" until I recently started getting random prompts for it. It's quite annoying. </p>

  • jimchamplin

    Premium Member
    06 April, 2019 - 2:37 pm

    <p>Why not use the same playback API that’s existed since Windows 8? The one that allows the volume pop up to offer playback controls?</p><p><br></p><p>Instead, they build something all over, thus making it less functional than something that already exists – it’s tied to Spotify instead of open to any app that follows the API – and takes more time to get right when they already had something that worked.</p><p><br></p><p>Its the same mentality that’s led them to manually recode Explorer to add dark mode support instead of using the Msstyles API that they introduced in XP.</p><p><br></p><p>Why is this so difficult? Why do they keep re-inventing the wheel when they should be working on anti-gravity?</p>

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