Today Microsoft expanded SmartGlass for Windows Phone, which promises to easily share web, music, movie, and game content to (and from) your TV through an Xbox. Though Windows Phone is predictably getting first stab at the service, it looks like Android phones running 2.2 and up have been able to try out the SmartGlass app since the launch of the Xbox Live beta in August. A full release of SmartGlass for Android is due early next year, according to a recent statement from Microsoft. Whether or not Xbox Music is following the same timeline is anybody’s guess.
As is, the My Xbox app already offers a bit of interplay between Android devices and the big screen, though like beta SmartGlass app, there’s no tablet-optimized counterpart yet. Presumably SmartGlass will simply just be an update to that existing app. SmartGlass promises to offer quite a few handy functions, including music playback control, voting on the outcome of live sports, actors on-screen during movies or TV shows, and context-sensitive information for tailored video games. Dance Central 3 and Forza Horizon are some of the games that have been demoed using SmartGlass, though we can expect quite a few more in the future.
One of the more subtle features I’m looking forward to in SmartGlass is being able to use the native system keyboard on my mobile to type into Xbox. Moving around a big virtual keyboard with the d-pad on the big screen has been an age-old thorn in the side, and I’m way too much of a controller purist (or cheapskate) to buy one of those hardware keyboards. Hopefully it’s usable throughout the Xbox experience and not just within the few content silos described by Microsoft.
For more info on the launch of SmartGlass and a few other new services, check out the Microsoft blog post or hit up the video demo below. Gamers, would you consider a switch to Windows Phone knowing that it would play more nicely with your Xbox than an Android device? Will the Android version of SmartGlass be perpetually worse than that on Windows Phone?