Surface Duo gets slick new Xbox controls plus Xbox Series X|S adds Apple TV Dolby Vision

Chris Davies - May 24, 2021, 10:26am CDT
Surface Duo gets slick new Xbox controls plus Xbox Series X|S adds Apple TV Dolby Vision

Microsoft is giving Xbox a content upgrade, with Xbox Series X/S getting a quality boost in the Apple TV app, new Spotify video podcast support, and new Xbox Game Pass controls for Surface Duo. The new Dolby Vision support for Apple TV+ means a big uptick in contrast and colors, assuming you have a TV or projector that can handle the standard.

Assuming you do, you’ll be able to head into Settings > General > TV & Display Options > Video Modes on your Xbox Series X or Series S. There, there’ll be the option to “Allow Dolby Vision” to select. Microsoft began testing Dolby Vision support in a limited beta earlier in May.

Not all Apple TV streaming content actually supports Dolby Vision at this point, mind. There’s a logo which shows up on the movie or show’s description page in the Apple TV app for the consoles, or you can check during playback by hitting the B button on the Xbox controller. “Ted Lasso,” “Mythic Quest,” “For All Mankind,” “See,” and “The Mosquito Coast” all support Dolby Vision, if you’re looking for somewhere to start.

As for Spotify’s video podcasts, they’re now supported on the Spotify app for Xbox. There’s the option to choose either full-screen, or to run the podcasts in the background as you play games. If you have the Spotify app on your phone, you can control music and podcast playback on the console remotely, too.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Surface Duo

For those gamers who have a Surface Duo, meanwhile, Microsoft is adding new controls for the dual-display Android device. Thanks to an update for the Xbox Cloud Gaming app for Android, there’s new dual-screen control functionality, designed for when you’re holding the device rotated by 90-degrees.

That stacks the screens, Nintendo 3DS-style, and Microsoft uses the lower touchscreen for the various controls, buttons, and virtual sticks. It means you can play without your fingers obscuring what’s going on, and should make things a lot easier on the dual-screen mini-tablet.

More than 50 games are available to play with touch for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, according to Microsoft’s Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer. That means about half of the total titles available on the service can be used with touch controls. The rest will require a more traditional, physical controller, which can be paired via Bluetooth or wired to an Android device like the Surface Duo.

While it might not be the reason that nudges you over the edge and makes you actually buy Microsoft’s folding device, it’s still good to see the company deliver updates to the controversial tablet. It also bodes well for dual-screen devices in general, something we’ve seen gain traction over the last couple of years.


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