Review: Microsoft’s Official Xbox Live App for iOS is a Top Notch Affair

Microsoft finally released an official Xbox Live app for iOS yesterday, and if you haven’t downloaded it yet you’re missing out on a high quality piece of software for your iPhone, iPad, or next-gen iPod Touch.  If you take your Xbox 360 gaming seriously you owe it to yourself to download this free app, which will allow you to keep tabs on your gamer life with a touch of a finger.  The official XBL app for iOS provides the essentials to stay on top of your favorite habit by providing features that allow you to edit your own profile, message with friends, set beacons, identify who is online, and more.  Head on past the break to get the low down on this little gift from the not-so evil forces at Microsoft.


Official Xbox Live App for iOS

EB 8.5 out of 10

The Awesome: Beautiful Interface, Complete Xbox Live Management on the Go

The Not so Awesome: Lack of Settings, No Notifications


The Awesome

Beautiful Interface

Up until now there’s been nothing but home brew apps for iOS users wanting some sort of interface to their Xbox gamer tag.  All in all these unofficial apps were pretty impressive, but now that MS has finally made an app of their own these other apps just can’t compete with its level of quality.  It’s by far one of the best designed apps I’ve seen on my iPhone and iPad.  The interface is a thing of beauty, and it’s perfectly laid out for use on a touchscreen device.

Every Menu in this app is fully animated with your Avatar and transitions

The graphical elements in this official app are second to none.  All the menus have slick animations that make the app feel more prestigious than it should, and the character animations on your Avatar, as well as your friend’s are exactly the same as you’d see while signed into your 360 console.  In fact, this app even renders the complete animations of your Avatar’s equipped props, and the same can be said for your friend’s Avatars.  This app even includes the console sounds that you here while navigating in and out of the various menus.  Without a doubt the official Xbox Live app for iOS is the best looking app on the iTunes App Store to keep tabs on your gaming alter ego.

Complete Xbox Live Management on the Go

The brand new and free Xbox Live app for iOS by MS allows you to completely manage your XBL gamer tag, and everything that this profile encompasses with a few finger swipes and touches.  The app is broken down into three major sections.  The main section that the app opens up to is the Home screen.  Ironically, the Home screen is probably the least useful section of this entire app, because it only offers videos of upcoming deals, products, and other similar videos that you’ll find on Xbox Live to get you sending mo money to Microsoft.

The Home menu offers videos and advertising found in Xbox Live

After the Home section you’ll find a Social section, which is the bread and butter of this official XBL app.  On the Social screen you can do everything from customizing your Avatar to checking to see which of your gamer friends are online, and everything in between.  You can quickly see if there are any beacons as well via the Social screen.  Basically, the Social section of this app allows you to manage your gamer life in the same fashion as it is done on your console.  It’s very intuitive, and a great way to keep tabs on your gaming universe.

Social menu as seen on the iPhone and iPad

The last section of this app is the Games section.  From here you can keep track of your recently played games, as well as monitor your achievement progress for a particular game.  It’s a nice tool to allow you to plot out your achievement hunt for a particular day, and a great way to see how your progress is coming along on your way to 100,000 G.

Games Menu as seen on the iPhone and iPad


The Not so Awesome

Lack of Settings

I was surprised to find that there are literally no settings to customize this official XBL app for iOS.  MS did provide a settings section, but all you can do with it is sign out of your profile, and read the privacy language.  I would’ve liked to have seen a setting to maybe change the background of the app, or even better, to disable the sounds that play while switching through menus.  Maybe MS could’ve added some options to toggle each section as well.  The lack of setting isn’t a deal breaker by any means, but it would’ve been nice to make the app feel your own.

No Notifications

The only thing that prevented me from giving this app a 10 out of 10 rating is the fact that it doesn’t have any type of notification system.  You can monitor which of your friends are online by manually drilling into the friends menu, but I would’ve liked to have had some sort of notification pop up when friends go online, as well as when someone sends you a message.  Let’s face it, sometimes you may want to just go online and play games without being bothered by your buddies, so it’d be nice to be notified who is online via this app to give you an indication of anyone being on that you’d rather not chat with.  On the flip side it’d be nice to know when someone pops online that you’ve been looking to hang with, so if this app could alert you to that I’d definitely give it the EB app of the year award.

Notifications would be nice to notify you when friends go online, or message you

The Final Verdict

Microsoft has given 360 gamers who are also iOS users a gift with their Official Xbox Live app for Apple’s popular line of iDevices.  This app has a quality to it that usually isn’t seen with free offerings on the App Store.  The menu and character animations are impressive to stay the least, and the ability to manage your online gaming life from the palm of your hands is priceless.  This app essentially allows you to manage your Xbox Live profile on the go, as well as keeping tabs on your gaming buddies progress and gaming status.  Outside of not including any type of notification system, and the fact that there really aren’t any settings to toggle, this app is a home run for Xbox 360 gamers.  This app easily earns an EB 8.5 out of 10 Buddhas, and as I mentioned if it had notification it’d be a dime.

If you own an iPhone, an iPad, or an iPod Touch, and you’re also a Xbox gamer, you owe it to your hobby to download this app.  Head on over to this link to do so immediately!  You’ve been thoroughly impressed with Microsoft’s generous offering…

iPad Demo of the Official Xbox Live App for iOS



[#ff entbuddha] “Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”

EB Original


Tags : freeImpressionsiOS AppsXbox Live
Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB’s Star Wars Time podcast show.