Xbox's November update adds new compact UI for Windows devices

Xbox Series consoles
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Mr.Mikla)

Xbox has revealed what's coming in its November update, and there's quite a few meaningful changes arriving.

The leading feature is the new compact UI added to all Windows devices. As the official Xbox blog post explains, Compact mode is designed to give players on smaller monitors and screens - such as the Asus ROG Ally - a better user interface experience overall. To enable Compact mode, players simply need to open up their Xbox profile on their device of choice and toggle it on from there.

In Compact mode, the side icons of the Xbox UI will be collapsed, thus allowing more room for the interface itself. Overall, this should give the UI more screen space and make more of it visible and clear at once. Xbox has also confirmed partnering with brands like Asus to "ensure that Compact mode is enabled by default on your handheld devices."

Xbox Compact mode on a mobile device

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Another update, this time for Xbox Series X|S consoles, adds Japanese language support for physical and virtual keyboards. Players can now switch to the 106/109 Japanese layout or 101/102 English layout should they prefer or need to type in Japanese. You can make this change by heading to your console's Settings, followed by System, then Language & Location.

There's also a very welcome update for Xbox players who make frequent use of their wish lists on console. If a game on your wish list enters Xbox's Free Play Days promotion - which makes some of the best Xbox Series X games free to play for a limited time (usually a weekend) - your console will now notify you. I can imagine this acting as a nice surprise for players who've had a game on their wish list for a while but have never quite been able to get around to buying it.

For more Xbox coverage, consider checking out our guides to the best Xbox controllers and best Xbox Game Pass games for recommendations on top hardware and software.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.