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Xbox SmartGlass: your entertainment companion

If you’ve got an Xbox 360 and a Nokia Lumia, then downloading the Xbox SmartGlass app is a no-brainer. Xbox SmartGlass transforms your Nokia Lumia 920 or Lumia 820 into a controller for your Xbox, enabling you to interact with movie, music, and games content – right from your much loved smartphone. 

Xbox SmartGlass is all about helping you to extend the entertainment experience of the Xbox 360, by placing the power of the Xbox in your hands.

This companion enables you to delve into Xbox Music, Xbox Videos and Bing search, as well as browsing the Internet without having to touch your standard console controller. Connecting to your Xbox 360 much like your wireless controller does, there are no cables to entangle the experience.

Xbox SmartGlass signing in

Xbox SmartGlass connecting to Xbox

To start with, the Xbox SmartGlass start screen displays what you’re currently doing on your Xbox 360 – just as a reminder, I guess. But beneath that, you’re presented with a list of things that you did on your Xbox – played a game or used Internet Explorer, for example. If you’re looking to interact, or play with one of those again, just tap the relevant icon. Otherwise, sliding the screen to the left or right will open up more options.

The discover panel presents you with a selection of featured movies, music and games titles. Selecting any one of these will allow you to dig deeper into the title, showing you details of the item.

If you’ve selected a game, you’ll be able to see if any of your (Xbox LIVE) friends have played the game, along with any achievements that are up for grabs. If it’s a downloadable game, you can then choose to download it to your console there and then.

Xbox SmartGlass discover panel

Xbox SmartGlass movie details

Xbox SmartGlass video details

Xbox SmartGlass video cast and crew details

Selecting a movie will bring up the synopsis, details on the cast and crew – of which are clickable, to show you other films they’ve starred in – and a related item section. There’s also a SmartGlass panel that contains a Video Guide. This guide displays information about a film as you’re watching it, springing to life when actors appear on screen, providing you with their filmography. Ultimately, it delivers a richer experience.

The SmartGlass panel also exists in any music title you’ve stumbled upon, but this contains the Xbox Music Experience. Much like the Video Guide above, it allows you to learn more about the artist that you’re listening to.

Offering tracks, games, or movies in the form of featured content is all well and good, but chances are you’ll want to search for something manually. Slide across again and you’ll reach the Bing search panel.

The great thing about this search function is that you can search by either the song/game/movie title, or by your favourite actor or singer. What you’ll be presented with is a long list of media items, all relating to what you typed in. Some may be songs, others may be games or films; just scroll down to discover new titles or find what it was you were looking for.

Xbox SmartGlass Bing search for name

Xbox SmartGlass Bing search for film title

Xbox SmartGlass also acts as a trackpad when you’re using the new Internet Explorer that was added in this autumn’s dashboard update.

With Internet Explorer open on your Xbox, sliding your finger across your phone’s screen moves the cursor in exactly the same way on your Xbox – your finger becomes the cursor. Navigating the cursor to the address bar at the top will allow you to enter a URL, and to make things as simple as possible, Xbox SmartGlass launches a keyboard on your phone to allow you to enter in a URL from your Nokia Lumia.

When it comes to clicking on items or links, tap your phone screen to make that happen and zooming into webpages is possible by placing two fingers on the phone screen and pinching together – reverse that to zoom out.

What if you’re browsing the web on your Xbox and have to leave the house? Take that web page with you on your Nokia Lumia. Tap the icon at the bottom that resembles a phone with an arrow pointing to the screen and the webpage you were just looking at on the Xbox will be transferred over to your phone. You can now carry on where you left off, away from your Xbox and on your phone while you hop on a bus.

Xbox SmartGlass is free to download from the Windows Phone Store, so make sure you grab it today.

Do you use an Xbox 360 and Xbox SmartGlass? If so, tell us your experiences with it, using the comments section below.