Microsoft’s Xbox One unveil back in spring 2013 didn’t have a lot of high points, but the console did feature a new mode Microsoft clearly hoped would be a key differentiation factor in years to come: Snap mode. Microsoft made much of the fact that you could “snap” various types of content to the side of the screen while still playing a game, in what was clearly a console-specific implementation of the app-pinning Windows 8 and 10 both support. The feature never made a ton of sense to me — I’ve never had a TV so large that I felt like giving over a third of it to stream video content, and Microsoft’s early multimedia focus with the Xbox One seemed ill-timed and badly considered compared with Sony’s “it plays games” approach.
Today, Microsoft announced that “Snap” mode will be removed in an upcoming Xbox One patch, to make room for future improvements and updates. Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra took to Twitter to discuss the change, though he was vague on what “bigger things” Microsoft is referring to.
There are some nifty features coming for Xbox One in its version of the Windows 10 Creators Update, including improved support for Beam streaming, Dolby Atmos support, additional Cortana updates, and better background controls and overlay options that should cover common use-cases for Snap without requiring the full feature.