Xbox SmartGlass app – how it works

Assuming direct control.

November 9, 2012
Xbox SmartGlass header

Although Microsoft’s Xbox SmartGlass Big-New-Thing has been out for Android devices for a week or two already, I had to wait until it launched for iOS yesterday until I could get my hands on it. Get my hands on it – get it? The free app basically turns your iPhone or iPad into a sort of remote control, or – as the buzz-wordy marketing stuff goes – creates new experiences and ways to interact with your Xbox console.

Setting it up is actually very simple – the app is an update to the old Xbox LIVE Companion app if you’ve got that, or you can download it from the iTunes shop. Assuming you’ve already linked the app to your existing Xbox LIVE gamertag and you’re signed in on your console, you’ll have the option to connect it to your Xbox as soon as the app is loaded without adding any additional setup info.

Xbox SmartGlass

It just works.

Somewhat inexplicably, the Xbox Marketplace is still MIA, which seems like a very obviously missed opportunity on Microsoft’s part to make browsing and buying things that much easier. Maybe there’s some really compelling reason why it’s not included, but seriously, it’s Microsoft. It’s like they don’t want my money or something.

From the main menu, you can touch the controller icon to launch an on-screen controller, and swipe left and right to navigate the console dashboard on your TV, in the same way that pushing the anologue sticks on your regular Xbox controller would. Why wouldn’t you just use a regular Xbox controller then? There’s no fun in that.

More importantly, though, this is pretty useful to control media playback if you use a wireless controller that switches itself off after a period of time, and you can also use the on-screen keyboard instead of the terrible pop-up keyboard on the Xbox or – even more inconveniently – a USB keyboard. That’s a super-massive plus.

Xbox SmartGlass controller

The interface is rather oddly spaced, but I’m guessing it makes better sense on a phone.

The app’s most significant feature, however, is probably the additional game content. Although most games don’t (yet) support it, I was very happily surprised to discover, quite by accident, that launching Halo 4 on my Xbox automatically made this happen:

Xbox SmartGlass Halo content 01

:O

Xbox SmartGlass Halo content 02

:D

Xbox SmartGlass Halo Waypoint

\:D/

I suppose it remains to be seen what sort of additional content support we’ll be getting in the future, but in the meantime, it’s worth getting just for the keyboard, and it’s free anyway. Win-win.

Related Articles

Xbox Surface tablet in the works?

Windows Live boss mentions “new Xbox”

Crytek producer dubs dual-screen gaming as a “novelty”

Tags: cool stuff, headline, iOS, Microsoft, xbox, Xbox SmartGlass

Shutterstock is the image partner of MyGaming – technology images can be found here

Poll

Is gaming better than sex?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Latest News

PS Plus – your free games for September 2014

PS Plus news

Line up for this month’s free PlayStation Plus games

Top 10 most pirated console games in August 2014

Piracy 1

These console games are being seeded the most by console pirates

What would happen if Superman punched you in the face?

superman-punch

With the power of science, we discover what would happen if the Man of Steel gave you a right hook

EA wants to make $1 billion in DLC in 2014

Electronic-Arts-EA-logo-2

EA Games – where buying the title is only half the fun

X

Newsletter Subscription

Name
Email *
Enter the following to confirm your subscription *
Captcha image


Free MyGaming Newsletter:
Subscribe
X
bool(true)