As we celebrate the official release of Microsoft’s Windows 8 today, we must not forget that it has been a monster week for Redmond in more ways than one. Adding to the fact that the curtain has finally been lifted on Surface, Xbox fans (and Windows Phone users) will find a nice addition to the Application Store today, namely Xbox SmartGlass.
Although details relating to SmartGlass were unveiled in June during Microsoft’s E3 presentation, it’s great to finally see a wave of hands-on reviews putting the application through its paces (see the official Gizmodo review, for example).
Although today is a fantastic opportunity for, as noted above, Windows Phone users to pass judgement on SmartGlass by navigating their Dashboard, browsing the Web and interacting with their Xbox games and/or applications from their mobile phone, iOS and Android users are still without support for what is arguably one of the more innovative additions to the Xbox 360.
In August, Microsoft began opening enrollments for Android users who wished to take part in the SmartGlass For Android Beta experience, and a full build is expected to drop in the next few months, but that’s certainly not music to iOS users’ ears. All we know, based on this blog post from Xbox Live’s Director of Programming Larry Hyrb– or, as he is otherwise known, Major Nelson– is that SmartGlass support for mobile operating systems other then Windows Phone will be arriving “soon”. Bittersweet news, indeed.
Windows Phone users: download your copy of the Xbox SmartGlass application here. Everybody else: take a peek at this SmartGlass walk-through from Microsoft’s official YouTube Channel, and see if you can’t answer a few questions you may have about this release.
UPDATE: Android users can now download a copy of the official SmartGlass application from the Play Store, here.