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Updated Xbox Live App Brings Xbox 360 Control to iPhone, Some Functions to Android

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Posted on June 13, 2012 AT 02:29pm

Microsoft today updated their Xbox Live app for iOS, bringing to it some interesting new features—including touchscreen control of your Xbox 360. As well, the app is now also available for Android device users.

First, here’s the official list of updates:

iPhone:

  • Use your iPhone with your Xbox to connect, control and discover content on your console. Connect your iPhone for access to a quick list of your most recent console activity. Control your content with play, pause, fast forward and rewind media controls. Find fresh entertainment to play in the new Discover section.
  • Improved Authentication to make it more stable

iPad:

  • Improved Authentication to make it more stable
  • iPad high-resolution images

Yes, indeed—you can now control your Xbox 360 via your iPhone device. Setting up the device to be a companion controller for your console is very simple—a quick change of settings on your system, log into the Xbox Live iOS app, and you’re good to go.

For those who might be expecting a total replacement for controllers or remotes, however, you’ll be a little disappointed. There’s no ability for turning on your Xbox 360 via your iOS device, nor is there an option for turning it off. As well, so far, I’ve only figured out how to launch whatever apps/games are under the “Quickplay” option—so if what you want isn’t in there, you’ll have to get it launched another way.

Still, it’s certainly an interesting new feature, one which no doubt takes us at least one step closer all of this SmartGlass stuff Microsoft promised at E3. I tried out this functionality via both the Xbox dashboard and the Netflix apps, and both certainly worked well. There’s a slight bit of delay between when you make a button press and when that action happens on-screen, but it wasn’t anything that would stop the software from being totally functional for uses such as media apps.

Will you play a game that requires fast action this way? Probably not.

This new functionality comes via the version 1.5 updates to the Xbox Live iOS app, which is available now. As well, Microsoft’s Larry Hryb announced that today also marked the launch of the Xbox Live app for Android devices. Here’s the breakdown of what the Android version of the app can do:

Also available for the first time on most Android phones, the free My Xbox LIVE app allows you to read and send messages to friends; manage your friends list and invite new friends; read and edit your full LIVE profile (name, bio, motto); change your avatar features and items with the avatar closet; and view and compare your achievement progress with friends.

Below are a few screenshots of the Android version of the app. You can download the My Xbox LIVE app by clicking this link.

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got his start via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as he can convince them to fit in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk him on Twitter: @pikoeri. Meet the rest of the crew.

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