The 17 Best Xbox One Apps

Check out apps for music, sports, movies, and education

best xbox one apps
There are a lot of great Xbox One apps for video, but that's only the tip of the iceburg. Screenshot

The main reason to buy an Xbox One is to play games, but if that's all you use your console for, you're leaving a lot of meat on the bone. Xbox One apps provide access to a ton of video content, including your favorite movies and TV shows, but it doesn't end there.

Here's a list of the best Xbox One apps for movies, music, sports, and more. There are standouts in each category and apps that have great native controls, without resorting to a virtual mouse.

If you see any apps you want to grab for your own Xbox One, click the corresponding link to the Microsoft Store, log in to the same Microsoft account you use for your Xbox, and look for a button that says Get the app or Install/play.

Xbox One Blu-ray Player App
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Category: Media

Why It Made the Cut: It adds essential functionality the system should have had when it shipped.

Why You Need the Xbox One Blue-ray Player App
Microsoft bets on HD DVD in the high-def disc war and lost, but the Xbox One has a Blu-ray drive built right in. The problem is that it doesn't play Blu-ray movies out of the box. This app fixes that, as it allows you to watch your Blu-ray Discs and DVDs without buying and hooking up a separate Blu-ray or DVD player.

For anyone wondering why this app is even necessary, it's a money thing. Microsoft has to pay a royalty to the Blu-ray Disc Association for every Xbox One that uses a Blu-ray player. So, if some people choose not to install the app, Microsoft saves a little money.

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Tubi TV app for xbox one
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Category: Media

Why It Made the Cut: It provides free ad-supported TV and movies.

Why You Need the Xbox One Tubi TV App
If you don't have a subscription to cable or any streaming services, then Tubi TV is the Xbox One app for you. The app provides access to a ton of free television shows and movies that you can watch.

You don't even need to sign up for an account to watch content on Tubi TV. Just download the app to your Xbox One, open it up, proceed as a guest, and you're good to go.

The catch is that Tubi TV is supported by ads that run before and during videos. So if you prefer to fork over some cash up front to avoid watching a lot of ads, you'll want something like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime Video.

The good news is that those services all have Xbox One apps, so make sure to grab them if you're already a subscriber.

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vrb xbox one app
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Category: Media

Why It Made the Cut: It's all about free anime and other fun shows.

Why You Need the Xbox One VRV App
VRV is a one-stop shop for fans of anime, western animation, gaming, comedy, and other genre video content. The app includes shows from Crunchyroll, Funimation, Rooster Teeth, Cartoon Hangover, and more.

While there are separate Xbox One apps for services like Crunchyroll and Funimation, VRV makes it easier by providing everything in a single interface.

VRV is also free to use, but you can pay for a subscription if you prefer ad-free content.

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xbox one youtube app
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Category: Media

Why It Made the Cut: It accesses a vast collection of free user-generated videos and music.

Why You Need the Xbox One YouTube App
YouTube is the king of user-generated content on the internet, and the official Xbox One app shifts it all from your computer to your television.

Unofficial apps also provide access to YouTube content, but there's no pressing need to download them anymore. The official YouTube app is easy to use and gets the job done.

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netflix xbox one app
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Category: Media

Why It Made the Cut: Just about everyone appreciates its massive library and great interface.

Why You Need the Xbox One Netflix App
If you have a Netflix subscription, then you must download the Xbox One app. It's surprisingly easy to navigate with a controller, and it's a great way to watch movies, TV shows, and Netflix Originals like Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things on your television.

The Netflix app edges out competitors like Hulu and Amazon Prime in terms of usability and content, but if you have a subscription to those services they also have apps available on Xbox One.

Live Sports and TV Xbox One App
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Category: Media

Why It Made the Cut: It's the only free live sports and news app available on Xbox One.

Why You Need the Xbox One Live Sports and TV App
There are a lot of sports apps on Xbox One, but they all require a subscription. If you haven't cut the cord yet, you can use your cable provider login information to watch live sports on the Fox Sports Go or ESPN apps.

If you don't have cable, your options are more limited. In fact, the Live Sports and TV app is the only game in town. It's spotty in terms of content and quality, and it's supported by banner ads unless you pay for a premium version, but it's the only way to watch free sports on your Xbox One.

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plex xbox one app
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Category: Media

Why It Made the Cut: It's the best way to stream your own video and music content.

Why You Need the Xbox One Plex App
If you have a ton of digital media on your hard drive or a network-connected drive, then Plex should be at the top of your list of Xbox One apps to download.

You sign up for an account, download the Plex server program on your computer, and it streams all the movies, TV shows, and music that you have on your computer or a networked hard drive.

Plex is the best way to stream media from your PC to your Xbox One.

spotify xbox one app
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Category: Music

Why It Made the Cut: It's all about free music that continues to play when you leave the app.

Why You Need the Xbox One Spotify App
The official Spotify app gives you access to a ton of music, and it's easy to navigate and use with a controller. It's also free to use, although Spotify offers a monthly subscription option.

If you loved Groove Music Pass on your Xbox One in the past, then you should love Spotify just as much. You can even move your playlists and collections straight from Groove to Spotify.

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twitch xbox one app
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Category: Streaming

Why It Made the Cut: Twitch is the biggest live-streaming site available right on your console.

Why You Need the Xbox One Twitch App
Xbox One has built-in live streaming, but Twitch is the biggest game in town. If you want to watch your favorite streamers or discover new ones without leaving your couch, you need this app.

theme my xbox app
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Category: Utility

Why It Made the Cut: TMX provides greater control over the aesthetic look of your Xbox One dashboard.

Why You Need the Xbox One Theme My Xbox App
If you want to make your mark on your Xbox One, then you need this app. The built-in customization options are limited, but Theme My Xbox pulls together a ton of user-created themes that you can download, customize, and use on your console.

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home remote xbox one app
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Category: Utility

Why It Made the Cut: Lets you interact with your home automation gadgets.

Why You Need the Xbox One Home Remote App
The Home Remote app is a universal windows platform (UWP) app that runs on your phone, tablet, PC, and Xbox One. It allows you to interface with all your cool home automation gadgets from these devices.

xbox one community calendar app
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Category: Xbox community

Why It Made the Cut: It helps you dig into the Xbox One community.

Why You Need the Xbox One Community Calendar App
If you want to turn your time with the Xbox One into a social experience, then you need this app. It provides information about upcoming community events, special in-game events, and more.

Category: Xbox community

Why It Made the Cut: You gain access to new features before anyone else.

Why You Need the Xbox One Insider App
The Xbox Insider app is the only way to get access to hot new features, such as game gifting, before the general public. When you join, you get early access to new Xbox One firmware updates.

You can also participate in questionnaires and perform other tasks to level up. The higher your level, the earlier you can get your hands on new features.

khan academy xbox one app
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Category: Education

Why It Made the Cut: This is the best educational app on the platform.

Why You Need the Xbox One Khan Academy App
Sometimes you want to take a break from all that high-octane gaming, and the latest anime episode or Twitch stream isn't enough of a palate cleanser.

The Khan Academy app is a great opportunity to learn new things using your Xbox One, and its lessons are usually fun and easy to follow.

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msn weather xbox one app
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Category: Information

Why It Made the Cut: It works great with a controller.

Why You Need the Xbox One MSN Weather App
If you want to check the weather without getting off the couch, Microsoft's official MSN Weather app does a surprisingly good job. It works great with your controller, so you don't waste a bunch of time getting at the information you need.

AccuWeather also has an Xbox One app that provides great hour-by-hour forecast information, but it loses points because it uses a virtual mouse controlled by an analog stick instead of native Xbox One controls.

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My Fitness app Xbox One
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Category: Fitness and exercise

Why It Made the Cut: Get fit with plans and tracking right on your console.

Why You Need the Xbox One My Fitness App
Xbox Fitness is gone, and there's no real replacement for it. My Fitness is an app that allows you to set up and track your fitness goals and workouts, which is a step in the right direction.

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fitbit xbox one app
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Category: Fitness and exercise

Why It Made the Cut: It interfaces directly with best-in-class activity trackers.

Why You Need the Xbox One Fitbit App
If you have a Fitbit, then this app is a great way to keep track of your progress. It's the same app you get on your phone or PC, but why get up off the couch to check up on your sleep habits or how many calories you failed to burn during that last marathon gaming session?