We’re hearing the term “second screen” a lot nowadays. Companies are vying for your partial attention with a whole host of apps designed to be used on your smartphone or tablet while you watch your main TV. Xbox SmartGlass is Microsoft’s attempt to jump on this bandwagon and it’s coming to Android in the New Year.

It basically hooks into your Xbox 360 so you can use your smartphone or tablet as a remote control and keyboard. That extends to browsing the dashboard for content, surfing the web, and accessing further information on the game you’re playing, the TV show or movie you’re watching, or the music you’re listening to.

As content producers start to see the potential and work to realize it, we’ll also see more interactive content and genuine companion guides. That could be behind-the-scenes commentary on a movie, or a handy extended map for a game. There’s a lot of potential here.

Initially SmartGlass will release with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 in the next few days. It should spread to Android and iOS in early 2013, but it’s not clear if the full range of features will be supported.

You will need Xbox Live Membership to take advantage. You can actually check the Beta out now on your Android smartphone, if you’re interested, but sadly there’s no support for Android tablets just yet.

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