Microsoft unveiled at E3 this year a new, and very interesting, Xbox-related mobile app called Xbox SmartGlass that’s meant to work on Windows-powered devices but also on other mobile platforms. The company is clearly interested in transforming its Xbox 360 and future Xbox 720 in an even more advanced entertainment portal ready to offer access to console gaming, movies, TV shows and music.
Xbox SmartGlass will connect various mobile devices including smartphones, tablets and PCs to the console and the best part is that Microsoft will support not only its desktop and mobile operating systems – Windows 8 and Windows Phone – but also Android, iOS and other mobile platforms.
The following promo video released by Microsoft exemplifies how Xbox SmartGlass can be used on Windows Phone smartphones and future Windows 8 tablets to offer additional content to users enjoying various Xbox features. Whether it’s playing music and video or whether it’s playing console games, the new app will grant users who install it on their devices, access to various perks.
The app looks similar to Apple’s AirPlay feature, but goes one step further as it will let users transform their mobile device into a secondary screen that can be used to control Xbox features and display content related to what’s happening on the big screen.
When browsing the web on a TV connected to an Xbox console, users will be able to use the Xbox SmartGlass installed on their devices to control the browser and zoom in and out when needed. When it comes to watching a TV show, the app can display extra information about the movie – in Game of Thrones, the app uses the secondary display to show where the action on the screen takes place on the map of Westeros.
Most importantly, when it comes to gaming – the main purpose of the Xbox – the app will let users perform various actions such as accessing their stats, starting multiplayer games or checking out extra content on the secondary screen, as developers will be able to release such extra features specifically created for SmartGlass use. Those gaming-related features will also be available on Android and iOS devices, although Microsoft reminds us that “Xbox SmartGlass features may vary by device.”
The Android SmartGlass application is not yet available to download from Google Play yet, so we’ll probably have to wait for Windows 8 and Windows 8 tablets (like the one shown in the video) to come out before we see it released on other mobile platforms.