A number of new and interesting features are headed towards the Xbox One, but I'm going to ignore most of them. What has caught out attention is the ability to stream TV to Android devices using the SmartGlass app. The feature will join the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner in coming to various European countries in the months ahead. It will allow users to stream TV to other smartphones and tablets while continuing to play games on the Xbox One.
Microsoft may have its own smartphone platform, but when so many Xbox gamers walk around with Android phones in their pockets, it would be a shame to ignore them (or their wallets). So the company has rolled out another update to its Xbox One SmartGlass beta app, and this one introduces the ability to purchase games and add-ons for the console remotely. It's a nice feature for people who have run out to buy an Xbox One with or without Kinect.
Microsoft and Google are ostensibly competitors, but Redmond seems to be setting aside its mobile aspirations in the name of supporting its new game console... and considering all the money in gaming, it's easy to understand why. So in addition to both Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions of the official SmartGlass app, there's now a separate beta build of the Xbox One app.
The beta version was introduced to help test a series of incoming features, which are outlined in this post on Microsoft's official Xbox portal.
Microsoft has already dabbled around with expanding the Xbox Live experience to mobile devices, but if a recent report from The Verge is to be believed, the company may be about to ramp up its efforts significantly. Our good friend Sources, who is familiar with Microsoft's plans, claims that Microsoft is building a platform that would extend Xbox Live functionality to Android and iOS. Instead of using Google Play Games or Apple's Game Center to track achievements, find other players, and compete with one another, you would be able to use Xbox Live instead.
Sine Mora got its start on the Xbox Live Arcade last summer and has slowly but surely been spreading to every platform under the sun. The 2.5D space shooter might not be the "legendary cult classic" that its description alludes to, but it's certainly been well-received by shmup fans, and it's now available on Google Play after a brief spell on the Amazon Appstore. It's a bit on the pricy side at $5.99.
A few days ago, there was a huge commotion around the Android and iOS campfires: Microsoft is bringing its first-party games to mobile platforms other than Windows Phone! The news stemmed from this Reuters report that Age of Empires would be coming to Android and iOS, followed by other titles. The first part is correct (though not nearly as exciting as it sounds, see below) but the latter part seems to be a translation error - Phil Spencer, Microsoft's VP of the company's internal game studio, clarified the issue via his Twitter account.
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.
On a larger tablet, the UI actually doesn't look much different from the interface on the TV itself, so it's extremely intuitive.
As we close out 2012 and move into the new year, all of the tech world is eagerly awaiting the arrival of one, unique product with bated breath and eager curiosity: Google Glass. But for those of us who don't have $1500 to shell out on prototypes of that thing (and a time machine to travel back to I/O '12 to order them), we're distracting ourselves with Ouya, the Android-based gaming console.
There's a startling amount of crossover between people who use Android for their mobile needs and Windows and Xbox for their desktop and console gaming. The SmartGlass app has been a definite hit for Xbox 360 users who also have Windows Phone 7 devices... all eight of them. Now Android users can join the fun: Microsoft's released the official SmartGlass app for Android, available for free in the Play Store.
If you're not familiar with SmartGlass, it controls just about every aspect of the media-friendly Xbox 360 aside from actual game control.