I like the Xbox SmartGlass apps but I have to admit I don’t use it that often due to its slow start up time. Microsoft have talked about the new SmartGlass app for the Xbox One that offers a lot of improvements over the Xbox 360 version.
As the Xbox One is designed from the group up to support SmatGlass the new app starts up much faster than the old version. In the post on Xbox Wire Microsoft have detailed some of the new features for gamers in the app like improved matchmaking, supporting up to 16 Xbox One devices and 2nd screen gaming but what interested me is the media features.
With the new SmartGlass app you can control your set top box, receiver or TV via the IR blasters so you can turn the volume up and down and navigate the OneGuide which is a single view of available content including TV and streaming apps. If Microsoft can pull off the integration with set top boxes like Sky+ boxes then this could turn a tablet in to a great control surface for your home entertainment kit. There is certainly plenty of potential we will have to see how well it actually works. You can read the full post on Xbox Wire.
XW: How does SmartGlass interact with TV on Xbox One?
RP: You can do a lot with SmartGlass when you’re watching TV on your Xbox One. You can change channels on your cable or satellite set-top box and even control the volume of your television. When you hit volume up on your SmartGlass device, for example, it tells your Xbox One console to send the volume up command through IR blasting from Kinect directly to your TV. Xbox One integrates all your entertainment into an easy to navigate OneGuide—a single destination for seeing what’s on TV, your favorite channels and even programs that you watch in your favorite streaming apps. You can either navigate the OneGuide on the TV, or you can access it on your smartphone, tablet or laptop with SmartGlass. So when you’re fighting over the remote or what to watch next, use SmartGlass to see what’s on and what to watch without interrupting what’s happening on the TV or to go ahead and change the channel if the remote is nowhere to be found.
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.