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
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PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
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