Beta versions of Minecraft Bedrock for Windows now have their own standalone app, Minecraft Preview, free for Minecraft owners and Xbox Game Pass subscribers. The change can be daunting, but this one honestly sounds like a real improvement over the headaches the old Minecraft beta process always caused me.
Starting today, you can download Minecraft Preview from the Xbox store or through the Xbox app for Windows. You are already the owner of the app if your account has a copy of Minecraft Bedrock or a Game Pass subscription. As we approach the minecraft 1.19 Wild Update later this year, this is how Mojang will allow Minecraft Bedrock players to keep experimenting with new features and creatures like these frogs and mangroves.
Importantly, Minecraft Preview is a completely separate app from Bedrock. Therefore, your save games, market items, and achievements are not available in Minecraft Preview – nor is multiplayer.
It also means less pain when playing the beta, in general. Previously, Bedrock players had to download the Xbox Insider Hub, opt in to the Minecraft Beta program, and then their version of Minecraft Bedrock would change to the beta. Switching back and forth was an absolute hassle, sometimes requiring me to re-download the entire game through the Microsoft store for the transition between versions to continue. Unlike Minecraft Java, Bedrock never allowed multi-version installations. So I personally will not be mourning the separation of Bedrock and Beta.
Mojang says in his Minecraft Preview FAQ that the app is currently available for PC, Xbox and iOS, and that it is “working diligently to bring Minecraft Preview to additional platforms”. Mojang explains that, for now, there is some overlap for PC and Xbox players, who will still have access to the Minecraft Beta program and the new Minecraft Preview. The app is currently not available in the new universal Minecraft Launcher on PC, but it will be sometime later this year.
Breathe easy, Java players. It doesn’t seem to affect us, our snapshot builds, or our meticulously organized game versions.