Xbox SmartGlass Review: It’s a Novelty but the Halo 4 Functions are Solid

Microsoft released the Xbox SmartGlass app for iOS yesterday, and while it’s definitely cool with tons of potential, it still kind of feels like a novelty app at this point.  If you previously downloaded the Xbox app for iOS you already have SmartGlass, but you just need to update it.  Once updated you’ll notice that the app functions the same as before with similar menus to the Xbox 360 console’s UI.  What changes is the ability of your iDevice to connect to your Xbox 360 to use as a remote, and a companion app for video games that support it.

Xbox SmartGlass UI

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For example, while playing Halo 4 last night my Xbox SmartGlass app automatically connected the Halo 4 companion app displaying near real-time stats for my burgeoning Halo 4 career.  The amount of detail is absolutely insane, and Halo stat junkies will have their minds blown with the amount of detail that this app goes into.  It’s very similar to the Halo Waypoint app, but to me it seems a little sharper, and more current.  It will break down every single aspect of Halo 4 such as your campaign progress, War Games progress, Spartan Ops progress, and more.  If you’re serious about your Halo 4 service record then you’ll definitely appreciate the new functionality that the Xbox SmartGlass app has to offer.

Halo 4 Xbox SmartGlass Functionality

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I also tested out the remote functionality, and it works quite well.  It’s nothing special, and if you’ve used other virtual remote apps then it’ll feel very similar to you.  I could see it coming in handy for those of you who use your Xbox 360 for more than just gaming, but I doubt I’ll be using it very often.  The Xbox SmartGlass app can also function as a virtual keyboard for those IE9 browsing sessions that I know all of you are enjoying with the new Xbox 360 Dashboard.

Xbox SmartGlass Remote 

Eventually I believe the SmartGlass app will also interact with movies, and TV shows, but I didn’t get to experience those features quite yet.  Like I said, I typically only game on my 360, so I doubt I’ll be using some of the multimedia features contained within, but I do believe they’ll provide value to those of you who use your 360 as your lone portal to the world of digital entertainment.

Considering that the app is free it’s hard to knock, so this post is more of a preview than a review, but if I had to rate it I’d give it an EB 8 out of 10 Buddhas.  Its interface is beautiful, and the ability to interact with games you’re playing in a new way is promising.  The remote portion may, or may not be useful to  you, but it’s nice to have if you don’t already have a physical remote for your 360.  The virtual keyboard is also a nice addition for those of you who like to browse on your console.  If you have a compatible iDevice, and own a Xbox 360, then you should definitely download the new Xbox SmartGlass app for iOS.  You’ve been liking this things potential…


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Tags : Halo 4ImpressionsiOS Apps
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.