App review: Xbox SmartGlass for iOS
Use your iPhone to play with your Xbox's Dashboard
- Control the Xbox dashboard
- Makes inputting information less frustrating
- Easier to use than a controller
- Can't use it to play games
- Can't use it type in games
Xbox SmartGlass offers Xbox users a lot of convenience. While it cannot interact with games whatsoever, it makes using the Xbox dashboard and playing media a lot easier, especially if typing is required.
Microsoft’s Xbox SmartGlass app turns a smartphone into an Xbox 360 controller, giving you the ability to play with your console’s dashboard and input information by swiping and typing rather than tolerating the traditional thumbstick and button method. It is important to note, though, that it is not a controller replacement as it cannot interact with games, even when just inputting information.
The first time Xbox SmartGlass is opened, it will ask you to sign in so it can connect to your Xbox 360. This means that your console must be on and logged into your account. Once a connection is established, the Xbox 360 will confirm it with a pop-up on your television screen. The Xbox 360 and smartphone do not have to be on the same network, although both must be connected to the Internet in some way, be it Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or 3G/LTE.
When the login is complete, the Xbox SmartGlass home screen appears on the smartphone screen, which looks like a less comprehensive version of the Xbox dashboard. From there, you can search the Xbox catalogue, track and compare achievements, look over your saved games library, and edit your profile and avatar.
To take control of the Xbox itself, you tap through to the dashboard option on SmartGlass. A mobile ‘control pad’ will appear at this point. The skin is black, and navigation is done by swiping any part of the screen to whichever direction. A ‘B’ button is located in the top right corner, ‘X’ in the bottom left, and ‘Y’ in the bottom right. Tapping the screen once triggers as the ‘A’ button.
Using this pad, you can use the smartphone to navigate the Xbox 360 and all its features, use the keyboard to type to the console, browse the Internet, and play/control media, such as DVDs, videos, and music.
As mentioned previously, Xbox SmartGlass does not give you the ability to play games with the smartphone as a controller replacement. Once a game is launched, the smartphone cannot interact with the Xbox — you can't even type in a game. For example, when creating a character in FIFA 13, you still have to use the Xbox controller. Who knows what the future may hold, but at this stage, Xbox SmartGlass is designed to provide convenience when interacting with the Xbox dashboard.
Developer: Microsoft Corporation
Requirements: iOS 5
Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 2 Sony Xperia XZ review: turbo-charged last-gen phone
- 3 Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
- 4 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 5 Moto X Force review: Leading features from a mid-range phone
Latest News Articles
- New call-blocking apps in iOS 10 can stop spams and scams before they reach you
- Pokémon Go guide app with half a million downloads hacks Android devices
- Instagram is fighting harassment with new keyword filtering feature
- Facebook Messenger now supports native payments
- NSW government taps on Android Pay
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- Japan Robot, gadget and car expo slideshow
- Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCInfrastructure Project Manager - Site MoveNSW
- CCFront End Developer (UI) - 12 Month ContractNSW
- CCSenior Java Developer-Java SE 8, HTTP APIs, Protocol BuffersNSW
- CCNetwork AdministratorVIC
- CCIT Risk ManagerNSW
- CCInfrastructure ArchitectNSW
- FTSenior .Net Software EngineerVIC
- CCTechnical Business Analyst - Wealth/Super backgroundNSW
- CCPHP DeveloperNSW
- CCAcquisition Marketing Executive - B2BNSW
- FTSOE ArchitectNSW
- CCAutomation Test AnalystNSW
- CCProject SchedulerVIC
- CCIT Data AnalystACT
- CCDesktop Support AnalystNSW
- CCUnix Project LeadNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- CCSAP FIORIACT
- FTOutbound TelesalesVIC
- FTSr. Insight SpecialistVIC
- CCWeb Analytics AnalystNSW
- CCMobile Developers (IOS and Android)QLD
- CCService Analyst (12-month contract)Asia
- CCContract Junior Programmer (JAVA/SQL) 161013/JP/602Asia
- CCBusiness Analyst - Telecom ProjectNSW