Smartglass released alongside Windows 8 (Photo : Microsoft)
Xbox Smartglass launched yesterday with support for Android-powered devices, alleviating concern that Microsoft would make the app exclusive to Windows 8 phones.
According to IGN, Smartglass is available on Android phones that run Ice Cream Sandwich or above, and will launch on the Windows Phone 7.5, iPhone, and iPad soon. Microsoft neglected to specify a release date.
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"Unfortunately, it looks like Android won't get a tablet-native version of SmartGlass any time soon," writes editor Jon Fox.
So, what is Smartglass? Microsoft's new app plugs Xbox users' smartphones and tablets into their console, and ensures swipe control navigation of the 360's interface.
Additional features include the ability to use phone keyboards to browse the internet on the newly minted Internet Explorer app, control video player settings, and access the dashboard's typical social features such as connecting with friends and editing setting preferences.
Microsoft's official site touts that Smartglass "automatically serves up extended experiences of your favorite TV shows, movies, music, games and sports. Interactive companion guides, behind-the scenes commentary, and real-time game strategy are just a taste of what you can unlock with Xbox SmartGlass."
Microsoft's recent announcement may damage enthusiasm for the Wii U's Gamepad, as the app provides comparable features to Xbox 360 owners at no cost, granted that they own a Smartglass-capable device.
"This release is the next step in our journey to transform Xbox 360 from a games console to an all-in-one entertainment system," wrote Chief Marketing Officer at Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Division in a blog post.