When it was asked why Nintendo is choosing to release a smartphone app for communications for its Switch platform, the company justified it by saying that this is because we carry our smartphones everywhere, meaning that we don’t have to worry about bringing along additional devices like headphones or microphones.
It seems that Microsoft is starting to subscribe to that philosophy because it appears that they are testing out Xbox Party Chat on smartphones, or Android devices to be more specific. It has been noticed that this feature is available through the Xbox Beta app for Android, and at the moment it does not appear to be available for iPhones.
The Party Chat feature is pretty standard and basically allows Xbox gamers to communicate with each other through another medium. As Eurogamer notes, this makes sense when you consider there are quite a few games by Microsoft available on mobile, plus there are also titles like Minecraft that offer cross-platform capabilities.
Note that Microsoft and Nintendo aren’t the first to offer up such features. Blizzard also has their own mobile app where gamers can chat with each other, as well as keep track of what’s going on in their games like World of Warcraft. That being said, note that this feature is in testing so there’s no telling if it will become an actual service yet.