A few months ago, Microsoft announced the SmartGlass app for Xbox, a companion application that allows you to navigate and control your console from your phone or, up until recently, 7" tablets. Now, version 1.5 has rolled out that adds support for larger slates. Including 10" devices like the Nexus 10, which is kind of great.

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On a larger tablet, the UI actually doesn't look much different from the interface on the TV itself, so it's extremely intuitive. Also, this update brings an always-on state, so your device won't shut off while you're using the companion app. SmartGlass is free on the Play Store and the update is available immediately.

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • jacob

    Microsoft enables always-on state for your tablet?


    • http://twitter.com/Alankrut Alankrut Patel

      Don't say that. People that can't read sarcasm will angered

  • Chronus719

    Still don't give two shits until I can use SmartGlass as it was intended to be used. You know, how iOS, WP, and WRT have been doing for months? So much for feature parity.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      As an Android blog with primarily Android users and little if any representation of iOS, WP, or WRT...actually, no, I don't really know how the app was intended to be used. What features is this missing?

      • http://twitter.com/djstarion Francisco Rodriguez

        There's a SmartGlass experience that's supposed to start up depending on what you're doing on your XBOX itself. Like a couple games are supported. When you play Halo 4, you can launch the new Halo Waypoint, Forza Horizon provides you with a GPS with map so you don't have you pause and look at the map. Also some apps will provide you extra info like ESPN, and most movies also provide real time background info depending where you are in the movie.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

          So that is specifically left out of the Android app? That sucks. So far, I've only really used it in conjunction with games to be able to see what achievements I have/need, but only because there's nothing else to do with it while playing a game. I tried it with Forza Horizon, hoping it would show a map, but when it didn't, I assumed it wasn't a feature yet available for SmartGlass.

          • Chronus719

            Basically, Microsoft's only answer has been "Doesn't work on Android, but check it out on WP or iOS," which equates to "Fuck the 300 million Android users out there."

          • http://www.facebook.com/chris.talty.9 Chris Talty

            Sounds like they are playing games with Android much like google is with WP, hurting customers. Of course there's no giant FUD articles whining about MS's treatment of android (go look at the outlook app for example), or something like this.

      • Chronus719

        Certain games have SmartGlass features built in as displayed at E3 2012. Microsoft promised feature parity amongst all platforms, yet in-game features like those found in Halo 4 and Forza Horizon are only available for WP, WRT, and iOS. Seeing as Microsoft has yet to fulfill feature parity, and is unlikely to do so, I don't give a damn about SmartGlass anymore. I'm not giving up my Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 to have the full experience of SmartGlass since MS sees fit to shaft the largest smartphone user base in the world.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

          Wait a second, I've used it on Windows 8 too and it also didn't have anything special for Forza Horizon. I realize it's not the same as WRT, but that means the lack of feature parity isn't due to Android being shafted... it just means Microsoft's development pace is slower than we'd like.

          • Chronus719

            It works with Windows 8. Have done it a couple times at my buddy's place. I think he had to download a companion app or some shit though.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

            I'll have to try it again, but I don't remember it working the last time I tried. Unfortunately, if it does work, it won't do me much good because I've already done everything I can in Forza Horizon.

          • Chronus719

            Yeah, I already played through it and more or less got 100%, but the fact remains that any future games that take advantage of SmartGlass in as cool of a way as Forza did aren't going to support Android unless MS stops screwing around with their lack of support.

  • Bas

    Yay finally! I was waiting for this since the beginning.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

    I've already had this working on my Nexus 10 for awhile and it works fine. I can't remember, but I guess I must have sideloaded it after pulling the apk from my GS3.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley


    ON MY Android Tablet?!

    It's more likely than you think.

    Free Metro check.


    In all seriousness, I wouldn't want a Microsoft X-BOX app anywhere near my precious Android.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

      Thanks for letting us know.

  • JonJJon

    I'm thinking if they haven't done so already Microsoft is going to trademark "Always on" and use it in every advert for every product they produce. You know because their entire customer base likes to hear "Always on" and "Internet" and "Power consumption" in the same sentence ;-P

  • Robert Blenkinsopp

    I wish this layout could but used on 7" tablets too...

  • mauric

    Looks like the bottom bar ate a little too much food.