Xbox SmartGlass provides a great second screen companion experience for Xbox 360, allowing you to control your console, manage media playback, and access information about whatever experience you’re currently using, and much more. While the first iteration of the app was released last year as the Xbox Companion app, the release of SmartGlass and the new Xbox 360 dashboard update took things a step further and added a whole slew of great features.
Two of my favorite – albeit minor – additions are the option to pull up the Guide and the ability to jump through lists as if you were pressing the bumpers (LB/RB) or triggers (LT/RT) on the controller. The former is fairly self-explanatory (just tap Switch and then hit Guide), but you might not discover the latter without some experimentation. Here’s how it works:
With the original Xbox Companion app, you had to navigate the dashboard using the four directional arrows. While these still exist if you’re using a mouse and keyboard on Windows 8, the touch experience on Windows Phone, Windows 8, Android, and iOS is even better, allowing you to slide your finger side-to-side in order to move around.
The best part, however, is that devices with bigger screens like the Microsoft Surface support an additional gesture. Short swipes still allow you to move between tiles on the dashboard, but longer swipes will actually pivot between screens or jump through lists. It’s a subtle feature, but it makes navigating the dashboard even faster and more convenient.
SmartGlass is available now on Windows 8, Windows Phone (both 7.x and 8), Android phones, and iOS (including, as of last week, better support for the iPhone 5).