Xbox Live’s Major Nelson confirmed Smartglass, the external app for Xbox 360 and Microsoft’s products, releases alongside Windows 8.
The app provides added context on content though works across non-Microsoft smartphones also.
Is SmartGlass a rival to Wii U? Perhaps; regardless Microsoft is releasing the software a month before Nintendo’s next-generation console
Over at his blog Larry Hryb, colloquially known as Major Nelson, announced the release date and cover new features in the latest a Xbox Live dashboard update, releasing today. The service debuted at E3 2012 in June to a mixed reception, though as media, and developers, added Microsoft is building a multimedia console.
Major Nelson said the apps includes Xbox 360 dashboard control and app Internet Explorer navigation. Users can also type in text, scroll, and pinch and zoom. It means typing via the frustrating virtual keyboard is avoidable, assuming mobile device can be used for typing.
Consumers first heard about SmartGlass during E3, shown providing a map for characters in popular TV show Game of Thrones or identifying objects in Halo 4’s campaign. The separate screens may be a way for Microsoft to get ahead of Wii U’s GamePad, a second screen for the console. The release date seems coincidental with the release of Wii U, launching November 18 in the U.S..
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Hryb also covered the features in the new dashboard update, releasing today. The faux Modern UI user interface is refined with larger tiles, and seemingly less ads and more focus on getting to content. That aside Internet Explorer 10 now allows users to browse the web, content can now be pinned to the home screen for one-button press access, while a Recent tab shows the last 10 services used. Accessing digital games is much easier here, rather than having to go the library and luanch titles there. Though video games are less popular then media apps, like YouTube or Netflix, users still want to access titles quickly.
Xbox Music is also confirmed for an Oct. 26 launch date. Microsoft said in a statement the service brings competitors under one brand, from buying music to creating playlists to allowing unlimited steaming for $9.99 a month. Xbox Music launches Tuesday for Xbox 360, with 30-day trials.
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