The Xbox Companion app on Windows Phone never ceases to impress people. Using the app, it’s possible to control your Xbox 360 console, including full Dashboard navigation, media controls, Bing search, quick launch, and much more. Now, after six months of Windows Phone exclusivity, the Xbox Companion experience has been added to the My Xbox LIVE app on iOS. The iPad version of the app also includes support for Retina displays and improved account authentication. If you haven’t yet experienced controlling your Xbox 360 via a WiFi network or data connection – even if you’re hundreds of miles away – you should. While there is a slight delay over a data connection, WiFi connectivity is nearly instantaneous.
Android users also received good news as well, although it’s not as exciting. The My Xbox LIVE app has finally arrived on Google’s smartphone and tablet OS, allowing you to view and manage your friends list, messages, profile, beacons, and Avatar. You can also compare games with friends, view your recent activity, and find out what’s new in the Spotlight. The Xbox Companion experience isn’t yet available on Android, but it will undoubtedly be added in the future. Of course, one has to wonder whether Microsoft might just skip the update and go straight to Xbox SmartGlass.
Larry Hryb, better known as Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson, made sure to stress that these apps do not yet support Xbox SmartGlass. When the impressive technology is released this fall, it will arrive on Windows Phone as a standalone app and on iOS and Android as an update to the My Xbox LIVE app. If Android is currently on the first generation of the Xbox app and Windows Phone/iOS are on the second generation, then SmartGlass represents version three of the technology, featuring some impressive new enhancements.
The Android app isn’t quite as impressive - and even if it was, it doesn’t yet support the Kindle Fire – but I highly recommend downloading the Xbox Companion app on Windows Phone and Windows 8 or the My Xbox LIVE app on iOS. Few apps have managed to light up as many eyes as this has.