Little by little, Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox SmartGlass app is becoming more useful. Microsoft Director of Programming for Xbox LIVE Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb announced on Monday the release of the Sports Picks app, which allows users to “make picks, compete with your Xbox LIVE friends and fight for domination of the leaderboard.” Xbox SmartGlass also has new ESPN and NBA Game Time experiences that provide second-screen information and navigation to “thousands of live events, highlights and replays” during a game. Xbox SmartGlass is compatible with dozens of existing Android, iOS and Windows Phone 8 smartphones and tablets as well as Windows 8-compatible mobile devices. The new update to Xbox SmartGlass is the latest in Microsoft’s attempts to position the Xbox 360 as the ultimate living room device.
While Nintendo (NTDOY) has chosen to create second-screen experiences with the new Wii U GamePad, Microsoft’s (MSFT) strategy for the Xbox 360 involves bringing your own devices (BYOD) with the Xbox SmartGlass app for Android, iOS, Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. One of the more frustrating things initially about the Xbox SmartGlass app was that it wasn’t natively compatible with 7-inch Android tablets such as Google’s (GOOG) excellent Nexus 7, but Microsoft’s gone ahead and updated the app to take advantage of 7-inch Android tablets while squashing a batch of bugs at the same time. While still in its infancy, Xbox SmartGlass is a glimpse at the future of smartphones and tablet and how they connect to the TV. More →
So much for having to wait until 2013 to get Xbox SmartGlass on Android and iOS. A week after Microsoft (MSFT) released its Xbox 360 companion app on Windows 8 devices and Android, the company pushed out SmartGlass for iOS. Users who already have the My Xbox Live app on iOS will see Xbox SmartGlass as an update that rebrands the app. More →