Microsoft has rolled out the November Update for the Xbox app on Windows PCs, and it's a big one for fans of portable PC gaming devices like the ROG Ally from ASUS, Legion GO from Lenovo, or any of the various Windows-based handhelds from AYANEO. Although Valve's Steam Deck isn't a Windows device, the rise in popularity of these sorts of devices has led to the new Compact mode for the Xbox app.
As the naming suggests, it offers a more intuitive interface and streamlined version of the UI optimized for handhelds - with the side bar collapsing into icons to provide more space for browsing through your library and all of the latest PC Game Pass additions.
Accessing the new mode is simple: select your profile and then toggle between 'Compact Mode' on and off. As part of the update, Microsoft is partnering with companies like ASUS to ensure that Compact mode is enabled by default when firing up the Xbox app on PC gaming handhelds running Windows.
'Compact Mode' isn't the only addition with the latest Xbox App update as Microsoft adds that it has made "big changes under the covers to improve the game install, launch, and update experience." As someone who has been using the Xbox App for a while on PC, even though it's improved by leaps and bounds in recent years, it's still a step or two behind the competition regarding managing game installs and updates. So it'll be interesting to see if these 'big changes' are noticeable.
In addition, there's a new Gaming Services Repair Tool (Beta) to troubleshoot issues with games in your library not launching or throwing up errors - and based on the screenshot provided, it looks like the Xbox version of "scan disk for errors."