There have been two updates to the “My Xbox Live” app today. One is the release of the Android version of the app which, until today, had been missing from the devices. The release for the Android devices allows users to view friends online, send messages, and check achievements, but it does not allow users to operate their phones as companion devices as the new update to the iOS version does. It should be noted that the Android version of the app does not work at all–for whatever reason– on tablets.
As for the “My Xbox Live” App for iOS devices that has been updated today, it comes with a nifty new feature that allows users to connect their device to their Xbox 360. Once connected, the iPhone or iPad can then be used to launch apps that are on your Xbox such as Netflix and YouTube, and then be used as a remote control. To use the connectivity, users will need to go into their Xbox 360 settings on the dashboard and set the “Xbox Companion” to active. Once that is set, simply load up the My Xbox Live app on your device and press “connect” to join the two together.
Once the two are in sync, you can select the program to use from the list of most recently used on the Quickplay menu. In the case of Netflix, once you select the program to watch, it will come up with a description of the episode you are watching (in this case “Breaking Bad”), a timeline with how much time has passed, how much to go, as well as playing controls along the bottom that allow you to fast forward, rewind, and pause the show. When using apps such as YouTube, you can use the built in controller to navigate through menus and make selections.
For the most part, it does seem like an ingenious idea, but there are some minor issues with it. When the device goes into sleep mode, and if yours is like mine, it does it very often, and it can take a few seconds for the device to connect to the Xbox again to perform the action you wanted. But given the fact that you can tweet, Facebook, whatever you do on your phone–and then simply go back into the app to control the Xbox again is pretty stunning and I’m sure just a small taste of what’s to come later this fall when the Smart Glass program launches.