Four Console companion apps and how to use them

Developers are constantly offering new and exciting second-screen experiences with their console games. Smartphones are quickly becoming an extension of everything we do, including gaming. Daily News reports that there are more smartphones activated every day than there are babies born worldwide and that 43 percent of all time spent on smartphones is dedicated to gaming. It was only inevitable that gaming would craft a bridge between the mobile experience and the console experience, and here is a look at just a few of the best companion apps out there.

Xbox Smartglass

Xbox SmartGlass allows you to sync your smartphone or other mobile device with your Xbox 360, bringing you a rich and interactive second-screen experience. Smartglass connects you with unique content and lets you interact with your favorite shows, games, and movies in a way that changes the remote control forever. You can navigate the Xbox menus, search your media catalog and control media, all from the Smartglass app, as well as track your game achievements, message Xbox friends and access your Xbox Live account. Smartglass gives you easy access to you Xbox dashboard, but it does require an Xbox membership to sign in. It is available for most Android smartphones and tablet devices.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity Companion App

The “Assassin’s Creed: Unity” companion app does everything that one might expect from an action-adventure game’s second-screen experience and more. For one, it offers a map of the Parisian cityscape that is much more interactive than the in-game map, allowing players to set waypoints in the game with the swipe of a finger.

In addition, it offers several in-app game experiences that translate directly to the console in-game experience. Glyph Puzzles are app games that are unlocked with each landmark discovered in the main game, and solving a Glyph Puzzle opens up a Nomad Mission to be played in-app. Nomad Missions are reminiscent of the Brotherhood missions from the “Assassin’s Creed 2” series of games, letting you send out your best Assassins to complete missions. Completed missions reward players in the main game with loot, experience, and more.

Watch_Dogs: ctOS Mobile

Almost an entire game unto itself, the “Watch_Dogs” companion app allows mobile players to connect and play live against any Watch_Dogs player logged on through their console or PC. Available for the many mobile devices and tablets, including the iPad Mini, the ctOS app lets mobile users control the city of Chicago as it becomes a battlefield. To really get the most out of the app, you’ll want to actually own a copy of the game so you can connect and challenge other players, but owning a copy of “Watch_Dogs” is not prerequisite to playing the competitive mobile app.

Battlefield 4 Commander and Battlelog

The “Battlefield 4” mobile app is much more than just a social media app. The Commander mode is an integral part of online gameplay that can radically shift the tide of battle. Available on Android and iOS devices, Battlefield’s Commander app takes you off the ground, out of the gunfire and sits you down in the Commander’s chair. Commanders are limited to one per side, and can drop ammo, gather information, give direction, communicate between squads and even fire a cruise missile into enemy ranks. Having a Commander on your side puts you at a powerful advantage against a disorganized force, so if you play with friends a lot it is almost a necessity that you download the free app on your second-screen device and take control of the battle.