Microsoft's Smartglass Is Great (And I Don't Even Use It For Games)

When Microsoft first announced its Smartglass technology at E3, I figured it would end up like the console's video marketplace, or Facebook application. A neat idea for the guys in marketing, but wholly uninteresting for the average user.

A few weeks in and I'm glad I've been proven wrong.

I've got the app installed on my Windows 8 PC, my iPad and HTC One XL, and while the phone version works well enough, it's on the tablet that the application really shines (the PC version would be great on a laptop, I guess, but on my desktop it's kinda useless).

While Smartglass retains the basic Xbox Live functionality of Microsoft's previous app, like access to messages, achievements and your friends list, it comes into its own when it's acting as an extension of your controller while you're consuming media on your console.

If you see an app, game or program on your tablet's screen, tap it and your console will boot straight to it. No more navigating through the console's laborious dashboard. It can also handle neat little touches like entering codes, giving you a touch-screen keyboard to type on instead of fudging through the console's d-pad option.

As far as aiding your gameplay, options are sadly limited right now. Forza Horizon has some cool map stuff, while Halo 4 gives you the game's Waypoint service on a screen right in front of you. And that's about it.

But the app is free, and seeing as I'm often nursing my tablet while on the couch watching TV (I watch a lot of catch-up TV on my 360) anyway, having an app like this to make things faster and easier is great.

Smartglass is currently available on Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Windows 8.

Xbox Smartglass [Microsoft]


    I too love it, the Forza Map works well but I've not yet used it for Halo Waypoint

    also I was thinking of some future applications

    Maybe in games like GTA or Skyrim or something

    I know that I may have a location of interest I would like to go to, or multiple points of interest, or things I just want to keep as points of interest permanently

    On an Xbox Smartglass map function you could note these kinds of things down,

      I believe they mentioned adding functionality in watch dogs? So smartglass would do the hacking/maps etc. Correct me if I'm wrong.

      I think we'll see increased functionality across more games as new Wii-U inclusive multiplatform games get released.

        Which will be good man, I wonder how Sony will step up??

        I really don't care as my tablet, phone and computer all run Windows, but it's still interesting

          The PSP already interacts with the PS3 and has done so ever since the PS3 was first released... It doesn't have cross-compatible web browsing sessions or movie sharing, but games on the PS3 can make use of the PSP's screen wirelessly. Not many games take advantage of it though unfortunately.

    I like it, but there are a few concerns when using it on my Lumia 800:

    1) It seems to drain the hell out of the battery
    2) It takes a little too long to connect (and re-connect if it breaks from Wi-Fi)
    3) Pinch to zoom doesn't register properly i.e. works sometimes, other times it doesn't

    The other concern is - will game companies step-up and really use it?

    It's not a bad free feature.

    Could be killer if devs make real use of it.

    I think where Smartglass could REALLY shine is if they could use it to perform ALL the functions the Xbox Guide would perform. Especially in game ones, like inviting someone into a game. Like they demoed at E3 with Halo 4 (fake demo of course).

    Actually, despite me being one of those to usually spring to Microsofts defence, I downloaded the ipad app eagerly and was impressed how easilly it connected to the xbox and did general navigation but when it came to web browsing it just just downright awful. The pointer crawled across the screen at a snails pace no matter what actions I used. It put me off it altogether. The positive reviews here have at least given me the incentive to give it a second chance.

    It's too bad they haven't got the damn thing running on some android devices for no apparent reason (I have an asus transformer infinity and it's unsupported for god knows why but if i were to root it then I could get access to smart glass and it works. so, what's the fucking arbitrary holdup, microsoft?)

    Best bit is playing halo 4 with friends, then sending them a quick message using smart glass on the iPad and getting an assassination on them when the message popup distracts them.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now