Xbox SmartGlass now available for iPhone and iPad
Microsoft's companion app for the Xbox 360 is now live for iOS, allowing users to remotely control the gaming console, view related content, type out messages, and otherwise complement everything you'd normally just do with the hardware controller. The new app has been rolled out as an update to the existing free My Xbox app for iPhone and iPad.
The recently-launched Xbox Music has its own dedicated SmartGlass dashboard with playback control and artist information, as does Movies. In addition to that, a few Xbox games provide tailored second screen experiences. Players can tweak their Xbox Live avatar and bio, as well as set Beacons so friends know what games you're looking to play online. Internet Explorer is controllable from the iPad as well, which is a little bizarre considering how polzarized Apple and Microsoft are, however handy it might be. Sports has an interactive element that allows those watching the game to vote on who they think is going to win, and see what the voting results are from everyone else online, not to mention see player stats and info mid-game. You can also summon a virtual gamepad that helps you get around the menu system with swipe and a few virtual buttons, but I wouldn't count on it for playing any games.
The biggest caveat with Xbox SmartGlass is that many of the features that are locked to Gold subscribers on the console trickle down to the iOS app as well. Really silly stuff like being able to type messages or use Internet Explorer require annual dues to Microsoft. For those that are already loyal Gold Subscribers, this limitation is a non-issue, but for those of us that aren't, it feels like petty nickel-and-diming. Xbox Music requires users to pay for an entirely separate music pass, though it provides access to a whole cloud-based music streaming service.
In any case, gamers, are you excited about the addition? Do you see yourself using SmartGlass for much more than games?
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