The Xbox beta app let us share this Destiny 2 game screenshot (originally 4K) to Slack. (Credit: Screenshot: Tom McNamara/Download.com)

Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4 both came out in 2013, and six years is a long time in the mobile world. While you could record videos and take screenshots of your gaming activity and share it within the social network built into the game console, both the Xbox and the PS4 lacked tools to share your exploits on pre-existing platforms like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

With a new beta of the Xbox app, however, it looks like that's finally changing for Microsoft's console, where the video and screenshot capture feature is called Game DVR. With the old app, your sharing is limited to your Xbox activity feed, Xbox clubs and direct messages sent between Xbox users. But in the beta (download for iOS or Android), you can share media to whatever installed app is capable of sharing, using your phone's standard app selection system.

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Since the Xbox app connects you to your Xbox account, and your Xbox uploads your Game DVR media to Microsoft's cloud, you can access those captures wherever you have an internet connection, and now the app beta takes that access one step further.

Just tap the Xbox app's hamburger menu in the upper left, select Captures, find the media you want to share, tap the share button right below it (it's a right angle with an arrow pointing to the right) and tap "Share to." You'll see a progress bar that should complete in a couple seconds, and then a menu of your installed compatible apps shows up.

In addition to social media, our testing on Android showed that we could share to Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Outlook, Google Photos, Keep Notes, OneDrive, Android Messages, Skype and Imgur. If it's a screenshot, it will be shared as a PNG file at the original resolution, so image quality preservation is pretty good.

If you check out the beta Xbox app, you may also note a Save option when you tap the share button below one of your captures. Yep, that means that you can make a copy of the item that's floating in Microsoft's cloud storage and save it to your device. This would allow you to watch a clip offline or to turn a screenshot into a wallpaper background image for your phone's home screen and lock screen.

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But since your sharing options include other cloud storage services, you could also use the beta app's updated sharing tool to effectively expand the amount of cloud storage that Microsoft grants to your Xbox account. If you're capturing 4K media, that 1 gigabyte of Game DVR storage fills up quickly, whereas Google gives you 15GB of space for free.

If you send your screenshot to your Google Photos library, and you let Google optimize your images to save space, then the image also doesn't count against your cloud storage capacity, though there will be some loss of image quality.

Takeaways

  • A beta version of the Xbox mobile app now lets you share your recorded gameplay clips and screenshots to other apps on your phone, including social networks, text messaging and cloud storage.
  • The Xbox limits you to 1 gigabyte of storage in Microsoft's cloud, so the accessibility of other cloud storage services via the new sharing tool effectively removes this ceiling.
  • You can also save this media from the Xbox cloud to your device, to view offline or turn into a background image for your phone's home screen and lock screen.

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Tom McNamara is a Senior Editor for CNET's Download.com. He mainly covers Windows, mobile and desktop security, games, Google, streaming services, and social media. Tom was also an editor at Maximum PC and IGN, and his work has appeared on CNET, PC Gamer, MSN.com, and Salon.com. He's also unreasonably proud that he's kept the same phone for more than two years.