Microsoft is working behind the scenes to make its Game Bar a more attractive tool for people who play games on a Windows 10 PC. The improvements are not just visual, but consist of feature additions, as Microsoft fleshes out the Game Bar with enhanced functionality. That includes a couple of interesting features that are about to be added.
Through the Xbox Insider program, Microsoft is testing a new Spotify widget for the Game Bar. This allows users to control their music and podcasts from the Game Bar, including functions such as play, pause, and skip. For it to work, users need to have the Spotify app for Windows installed, which is available from the Microsoft Store or Spotify's website.
"Want to tweak the volume of that song you just started rockin’ out to? Pull up the audio widget in Game bar to change volume settings across apps quickly and easily without having to alt-tab out of your game," Microsoft says.
Also of interest is a new Xbox Social widget. As time goes on, multiplayer gaming is becoming increasing cross-platform, even as some companies stubbornly resist the movement (we're looking at you, Sony). The new Xbox Social widget gently expands on this idea, at least within Microsoft's ecosystem, by giving users a look at their Xbox Live friends and what games they are playing.
"You can quickly text them, voice chat them, or watch their Mixer stream all from within the Game bar. The same friends list and communication features work on Xbox One as well as within the Xbox App on iOS, Android and of course Windows 10," Microsoft explains.
Finally, Microsoft also updated the Game Bar to allow for the ability to easily turn captured screenshots and videos into memes. Users can then share their creations straight away on Twitter.
All of this is only available to Xbox Insiders at the moment. Becoming one is rather easy, though. Just launch the Xbox Insider Hub on your Windows 10 PC (grab it from the Windows Store if you don't already have it), select Insider Content in the upper-left, then select Windows Gaming. As long as you are running Windows 10 build 17763 or higher, you will be enrolled in the Game Bar flight.