My Xbox Live App brings iOS users closer to the MS fold

The newly updated Xbox Live Fall Dashboard brings with it a surprise for iOS users in the form of the Companion App, dubbed “My Xbox Live”. The app offers limited functionality compared to the fully-featured Windows Phone version: it has chat, achievement comparisons and avatar customisation, with some beacon functions.

Windows Phone owners could download the app as of yesterday. They can now control their Xbox’s content remotely through the Companion App. Users now have full control over Bing Search and can launch apps, movies, music, photos and more from the Companion App.

For iOS users, the app represents an important milestone. Xbox rarely allows non-Microsoft products to partake in its gaming goodness. Now with chat, friends list management, Xbox Live profile editing, full Avatar control and achievement comparison, My Xbox Live introduces limited means of cross-platform communication.

The Windows Phone app is understandably more powerful than the iOS version. A feature which is sorely missing from the iOS version are notifications. On the Windows Phone app, beacons can be set which tell Xbox Live users what activity the users is interested in. These beacons can be broadcast on social media feeds to ensure that the Xbox user is never without a gaming buddy. UPDATE: Beacons can now be added with the iOS version.

The iOS app, while very similar in looks to the Windows Phone version is comparatively anaemic in functionality. It’s doubtful that Microsoft will allow Apple users to control their Xbox remotely, place beacons, browse the content catalogue and otherwise enjoy the full Companion App experience. Ipad, iPod and iPhone users with Jailbroken phones may one day see an unauthorised Xbox Live app with the added features of the Windows Phone version.

The video below highlights the features of the Windows Phone Companion App.

Steven Norris: grumpy curmudgeon


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