The biggest news to come out of the tech world this morning was easily Microsoft’s announcement of its new Xbox One console (along with the 9 percent spike in Sony’s stock price during the reveal). Surprisingly, the upcoming release of Microsoft’s new gaming console brings with it some good news for iOS users as well. Specifically, Xbox’s SmartGlass application will be “fully integrated” with Microsoft’s new console, thus allowing users of iPhones and iPads to connect seamlessly with the next generation of Microsoft’s popular console series.
Introduced last year and allegedly downloaded by over 10 million people, SmartGlass currently allows users to interact with their Xbox 360 consoles in a number of limited ways, such as using the iPhone’s keyboard to type onscreen (a significant improvement over the hunt-and-peck nature of gamepad-based input), watching videos, and navigating menus. It’s a little gimmicky in its current implementation, as specialized apps such as HBO Go and Netflix arguably do a better job with the video services.
Currently, it’s not too clear what Microsoft’s “fully integrated” service entails. According to an article from Wired this morning, future versions of SmartGlass will let users turn their iPhones or iPads into a “skeuomorphic remote control, able to emulate any other control device.” The Verge also announced that “We’ve also learned that it’ll let more devices connect at once for multiplayer and shared experiences,” but failed to elaborate. That’s not terribly different from SmartGlass’s current design, however, although other features might make it worth checking out for Xbox fans with iDevices.
Further details are expected to be revealed at this year’s E3 conference in Los Angeles from June 11-13.
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