Microsoft's SmartGlass app is a smartphone-based manager for the Xbox One, and it gets some surprisingly frequent love from the developers for a product intended for a direct Google competitor. The latest beta version is a significant bump, 2.4 to 3.16, though the changes aren't immediately obvious beyond a few cosmetic adjustments. The new user interface moves quite a few elements around, and if it isn't completely "material" then at least Microsoft is trying to make it look like an Android app instead of a tiny Xbox window.

2016-04-23 00.10.04 2016-04-23 00.10.20 2016-04-23 00.09.25

Old above, new below.

2016-04-23 00.17.50 2016-04-23 00.16.47 2016-04-23 00.16.55

According to an Xbox One owner and Android Police reader, the biggest changes are in the Settings menu, where users can now share achievements, captures and the like directly to Facebook. The main page allows for easy horizontal scrolling between the main tabs (Info, Feed, Achievements, Captures, and Followers & Following), which were previously tucked away into the slide-out menu. The new interface also makes it much easier to compare achievements with friends, for when you want to catch up/rub it in their face (delete whichever is inappropriate).

2016-04-23 00.08.31 2016-04-23 00.10.57 2016-04-23 00.11.09

Second verse, same as the first.

2016-04-23 00.16.25 2016-04-23 00.18.44 2016-04-23 00.18.17

There's also at least one notable step backwards: the app is now locked to portrait mode, at least on tablets. That could make it difficult to use for those who are accustomed to browsing through the various management and social features on their couch without interrupting an Xbox game. But then this is a beta - maybe someone will correct the oversight before it graduates to the stable version.

The current version has been updated on the Play Store (though it only says "bug fixes" in the changelog for some reason), but if you need the app somewhere else, it's also available on APK Mirror.

Xbox beta
Xbox beta
Price: Free