Fan’s of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console and Apple portable devices finally have some common ground. Microsoft just updated their Xbox 360 companion app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch to version 2.0 or “Xbox SmartGlass”. Microsoft has demoed their SmartGlass platform in the past, which allows devices running Windows RT, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android to act as controllers and additional displays for select games on the XBox. The apps are out now.
At the most basic level, SmartGlass lets you navigate your Xbox 360 using your tablet. This means you can switch up your avatar from your iPad, control media playback, and search through Microsoft’s store. You can even use the onscreen keyboard (or any bluetooth keyboard attached to your phone or tablet) to enter text, which is especially useful paired up with the Xbox’s new web browser. Even when you’re not paired with the Xbox, you can use Xbox Live to watch certain TV shows and movies.
But those are just the generic SmartGlass features. Certain games and movies have special controls and content in mind for SmartGlass. For example: in Halo 4, tablets running SmartGlass can be used to set up multiplayer maps. As teased at this year’s E3, other games have live maps and special on-screen controls. It’s not just games, though: when used as a companion app with the Xbox, movies can also have additional content on SmartGlass, such as the profiles of onscreen characters.
It will be interesting to see how many games in the future take advantage of SmartGlass, and whether or not the trend will continue on Microsoft’s next console.
Download Xbox SmartGlass for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch – FREE [iTunes App Store]
Download Xbox SmartGlass for Android – FREE [Google Play Market]
Download Xbox SmartGlass for Windows Phone – FREE [Windows Phone marketplace]
Is Xbox SmartGlass a clever concept, or is it a pointless novelty? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.