Well, I’ve finally gotten around to releasing a version of XBList that’s good enough to call 3.0. Last year I posted a look at what I thought should be in the next XBList. The most major has been the transition to .NET 2.0. Besides the increased stability and power of the new framework and doing things “the 2.0 way”, I ended up rewriting most of XBList’s innards in an effort to make it more maintainable, cleaner, faster, and more stable. That’s all in there, even though you don’t see it. Emblem loading, in particular, is much more robust. I also went out of my way to simplify the app and put in those little features that had been bugging me forever. For example, XBList now remembers if you’ve collapsed a category (like “Offline”) instead of expanding it each time. And a list refresh won’t always scroll to the top like it used to.
However, there are a couple of very visible changes. First, you’ll now get a little tray icon and message bubble whenever there are new messages waiting for you at Xbox.com. This is really exciting for me, since it means that friends can invite you to a game and you’ll know about it right there on your desktop. It’s a new feature, and I’ll be working on it more, but I hope everybody likes it. The other thing is that XBList has a new icon and a new set of graphics. There’s an animated sign-in screen, a chilling error screen, and better indicators in the system tray. I never liked the old XBList icon (which was just the old Xbox logo, cut out), and this one feels much more professional, as well as having its own identity, which isn’t to say that it doesn’t owe a lot to the Xbox 360 UI team.
One last thing: I never got a chance to try it, but people complained that XBList 2.2 didn’t work on Vista. I think XBList 3.0 might (and I created a spiffy Vista icon for it) so please give it a shot and let me know if it works!