Microsoft launches SmartGlass wireless media streaming for iOS and Android

Electronic Entertainment Expo, the industry’s biggest interactive entertainment show, is underway in Los Angeles, California and Microsoft juts announced an interesting software solution for wireless media streaming to the Xbox 360 console from devices powered by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android mobile operating system.

Called SmartGlass, the app lets you beam video from your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or Android device to Xbox Live and Windows 8. Another cool feature: with SmartGlass installed, your mobile device becomes a complementary display in games and apps that support this functionality…

In Layman’s terms, SmartGlass connects phones, computers and tablets with your Xbox 360 console. Of course, the program is available on Windows phones and Windows 8 tablets. Interestingly enough, Microsoft’s own press releases doesn’t mention SmartGlass for iOS or Android and instead refers to “other portable devices”.

Nice move, Microsoft!

Here’s from Reuters.

The app allows users to see what it calls “companion content,” from TV to games, on the smaller screen. For example, gamers playing Electronic Arts Inc’s “Madden NFL” on an Xbox in the same room could design plays on individual tablets without showing their opponent.

For TV, someone watching “Game of Thrones” on the “HBO GO” streaming service via Xbox could simultaneously browse websites about the show’s cast.

Per fine print, SmartGlass is available with select games and Xbox Live content. Xbox Live Gold membership is also required for some Xbox SmartGlass-enabled content and features.

SmartGlass lets your tablet become a secondary display in supported Xbox games. Image via Engadget

Redmond also launched Internet Explorer for Xbox, new television shows and movies as well as Xbox Music, basically the iTunes for Xbox, Windows Phone and Windows 8 devices.

Some people felt the announcements were a bit underwhelming for the software giant.

If you have time, check out Microsoft’s press conference from E3 2012.


Kudos to Microsoft on SmartGlass.

Regardless of your gaming platform preference (I’m a PlayStation 3 fan, for example), I’m all for seamless solutions and with this program Microsoft shows just how serious it is with living room entertainment.

Actually, with Windows 8 supporting screen sizes big and small, I think a lot of people are going to be surprised when various Windows 8-powered devices hit the market later this year.

Though Apple will no doubt keep on trying, I seriously doubt anyone at this point can endanger their positioning of Xbox (65 million units sold since 2005) as the living room hub – even with Microsoft itself deeming Apple its main competitor in this space.

Should Apple be worried?