What does Xbox Smartglass do?
Microsoft has taken note that many people use their phones and tablets while watching television. Xbox SmartGlass takes this concept and turns your iPhone or iPad into a device that supplements your viewing or listening experience on the Xbox.
One of the most useful features of the Xbox SmartGlass app is the ability to turn your iOS device into a remote control for your Xbox. The gamepad isn't the best way to navigate the Xbox interface and it is terrible for any kind of text input, though this only works for a limited number of apps. Xbox SmartGlass solves this by giving users a full screen trackpad to swipe around. The 4 corners have buttons assigned to them. The best part of Xbox SmartGlass's trackpad is that you can use it to input text with your phone or tablet's keyboard.
Additionally, Xbox SmartGlass will provide supplemental information about what you're listening to or watching with your Xbox. For example, you can start watching a video you downloaded from the Xbox video store and the Xbox SmartGlass app will pull up information about the cast, synopsis, photos, and more. Listening to music on your Xbox, Xbox SmartGlass will pull up artist information as well as related artists. This helps enrich the viewing experience for movies and music but unfortunately, it only works with 1st party software from Microsoft. Netflix and Last.fm will not pull additional information.
Some stability issues
One disappointing thing about Xbox SmartGlass for iOS is that the app is very unstable. The app constantly crashes, even while performing the most simple of tasks. The app also disconnected and reconnected to the Xbox several times during testing, which was annoying. Hopefully Microsoft can sort these issues out in a future update.
Overall, Xbox SmartGlass is a great trackpad and keyboard for your Xbox but its limited app support stops it from being truly useful.
- Bug fixes