Microsoft surprises the masses by releasing Xbox SmartGlass for Android

Sections: Consoles, Handhelds, Handhelds-Other, Smartphones, Xbox-360

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It was only a few short days ago when websites across the web were reporting on Microsoft’s decision to release the Android and iOS apps for Xbox SmartGlass in 2013. We felt delaying SmartGlass wouldn’t work out very well for Microsoft, but understood why Microsoft would give preferential treatment to Windows Phone 8. To our surprise, Microsoft was bluffing and released Xbox SmartGlass for Android today.

Xbox SmartGlass turns your existing Android smartphone and tablet into a wireless input device for the Xbox 360. You can control the Xbox Live dashboard, surf the web and perform basic functions with Xbox SmartGlass while your Xbox 360 controller lies in a powered off state. In my quick test, I found SmartGlass to be very easy to set up. All you have to do is turn on your Xbox 360, sign in to your account on the Xbox SmartGlass app and everything connects automatically. If it doesn’t connect for you, you may have to turn on SmartGlass support by going into your console’s settings.

The app works great. Swiping, scrolling and pinch-to-zoom is very fluid. This is one example of an app behaving in real life just as it does in promotional videos.

Xbox SmartGlass can only be used on Android devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or higher. According to Google, ICS is available on 23.7% of Android devices. The previous version, Gingerbread, is still holding the lead with a 55.8% adoption rate. The app is also incompatible with the Nexus 7. This may be a Android 4.1 Jelly Bean issue, so here’s hoping Microsoft provides a compatibility update as soon as possible.

Download Link [Google Play]

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