Microsoft is working hard to make the Xbox the centre of our living entertainment, now they are bringing in the smartphones to assist. With the introduction of the SmartGlass application for Windows and Android smartphone’s the Xbox’s interface has been put in the palm of your hand.
Able to convert any Windows 8 or Android phone into an auxiliary display for your Xbox, the SmartGlass app is a must have freebie for any Xbox owning Android and Windows user. Making us wonder how we used the Xbox without it. This may also signifying the first tangible benefits of the much hyped device integration we have heard so much about, finally it all starts to make sense.
SmartGlass has been available to Windows 7 smartphone users for many months now, proving to be very popular. Now Android and Windows 8 smartphones have been introduced to an entirely new side of our Smartphone’s, the smart controller. The iOS version is still in the works and should be available 2013.
To get started with Android SmartGlass you will need an Xbox live account log in, Android 4.0 and at least a WVGA resolution display. Multi-talented SmartGlass will bring many parts of the Xbox interface directly to your smartphone. After installing the app and logging in SmartGlass will use your Smartphone’s WiFi to connect to the Xbox and your away.
SmartGlass allows the Xbox to continue its activities while you navigate the consoles dashboard, message other live users, adjust your avatars looks and use application specific add-on. Game points and trophies can be viewed at anytime.
Game developers have unlimited freedom when designing their SmartGlass add-on, even down to how the second display will be used. The initial generation of games start with the obvious function of displaying real time secondary information, character status, maps, ammunitions etc.
Initially the Xbox applications supporting SmartGlass include the brand new Internet Explorer for Xbox, Xbox Video and Xbox Music apps. Games will begin supporting the new interface in the coming months with big name titles such as Dance Central, Forza Horizon, Halo, NBA, HBO and ESPN. Hopefully Microsoft can keep the updates coming for SmartGlass, with new apps and new ways of using the second screen.
Once you have explored your content for just the right track the media player controls for playback take over. The usual array of options are available directly from you phones touch screen; play, pause, fast forward, rewind and stop. There is also a social portal with chat available for easy interaction with your portal buddies; you can even check your avatars hair before getting social.
The app works on all Smartphone’s while tablets are hit and miss; the Nexus 7 and Galaxy Note II for example are a miss. The Android version is available now through the Google Play app store.
Reference: Microsoft Xbox SmartGlass