It’s been a hugely requested feature and Microsoft has responded, by bringing the ability to view and share screenshots from the Smartglass app.
This feature will be available soon in the Android Xbox One SmartGlass Beta app (build 2.4.1507 or higher) which is accessible by all users; the beta version for iOS is currently limited to users that are already part of the Xbox One SmartGlass Beta via the Apple store (Build 2.108 or higher).
There’s some exciting new features heading to the Xbox One dashboard, which as usual, will be distributed first to Xbox Preview program members. There’s additions to the dashboard, the Windows 10 Xbox app and SmartGlass.
Xbox on Windows 10
Game DVR for PC game
Real name sharing
Xbox One Now Playing and media controls
Live TV streaming and PIP (picture in picture) support
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 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.
Xbox have revealed via Xbox Wire, how Smartglass will work with Xbox One and what it brings to Next Generation Xbox Gaming. Xbox Wire spoke with Ron Pessner, Xbox LIVE General Manager about the new features for Xbox One and Smartglass using Smartphone and tablets. The below Q&A is taken from Xbox Wire :
Xbox Wire: What is SmartGlass? Fundamentally, it’s a free downloadable companion application that extends your Xbox game and entertainment experiences to your smart devices. With SmartGlass for Xbox One you can use your phone, laptop or tablet as a remote to easily navigate the web on your console, turn up the volume on your TV, and select a video, music or game to play. SmartGlass is more than just controlling your TV content though. We are working with all of our game and entertainment partners to build really cool experiences that take advantage of the fact that you have smart devices connected to your Xbox One.
How do you get Xbox One SmartGlass? The free Xbox One SmartGlass app is separate from the Xbox 360 app. The Xbox One SmartGlass app will be available for download this holiday on Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, iOS and Android devices.
What can gamers expect from SmartGlass for Xbox One? SmartGlass is maturing with the evolution of Xbox 360 to Xbox One. Xbox One was designed from the ground up with SmartGlass in mind, and an immediately noticeable difference with Xbox One SmartGlass compared to Xbox 360 SmartGlass is the connection speed and performance. On average it only takes about four seconds for SmartGlass to recognize your Xbox One and create an instant connection. Of course, this is based on the speed of your wireless connection, but generally SmartGlass is about three-and-a-half times faster on Xbox One than its Xbox 360 predecessor. And that’s just for your first connection, once you’re synced up, re-connecting will happen even faster.
A core feature that was super important for us is that gamers can use SmartGlass for matchmaking on Xbox One. If you’re in the middle of game on your console, you can begin matchmaking for a multiplayer session through SmartGlass and you won’t interrupt your action on the big screen.
We’ve also expanded the number of devices that you can connect simultaneously to Xbox One. You can now have up to 16 SmartGlass devices working with an Xbox One so there are more people connecting to a game experience—that’s four times as many as Xbox 360. An interesting implementation of this would be playing poker with friends or maybe an MMORPG where there can be lots of hands in the pot. We’re excited to see where developers will take this and the new gaming experiences they’ll create by tying together more devices than before.
How are you making SmartGlass faster on Xbox One than Xbox 360? With Xbox 360, SmartGlass had to talk to a datacenter that could be halfway around the world, and the datacenter then relayed commands to your Xbox. That connection from your SmartGlass device to a datacenter and then to your Xbox required extra time to execute. Now, SmartGlass talks directly to your Xbox One over your Wi-Fi or LAN network.
XW: Which Xbox One games have SmartGlass companions?
RP: So far, we’ve revealed some of the games with SmartGlass that will launch with Xbox One such as “Dead Rising 3” and “Project Spark.” The “Dead Rising 3” SmartGlass companion turns your phone into an extension of the game world. SmartGlass becomes the phone in the game and opens up lines for you to interact with characters during gameplay—it’s a cool bonus just for SmartGlass users but it’s not necessary to complete the game. Also with “Dead Rising 3,” SmartGlass can start a new mission or find hidden in-game items and locations. In addition, by completing exclusive missions, gamers can earn special rewards, like an airstrike that they can call in with SmartGlass to clear an escape path if they’re stuck in a zombie horde.
XW: What is Game Help and how are developers utilizing it for Xbox One games? RP: If you’re having trouble in a game, you can tap a Help button in SmartGlass that will give you contextually aware information for whatever you’re playing. We’re working closely with developers today to add game help to individual Xbox One titles. This is done by game creators making a help manual that we then host in SmartGlass. During gameplay, SmartGlass follows your progress and knows exactly where you’re at and where you’re having trouble, so that when you hit the Help button you’ll be given the tips you need. It’s a really cool additive experience to your gameplay and a way for developers to use additional screens to enhance the experience of playing games on Xbox One.
XW: Can I play a game on Xbox One using SmartGlass like a controller? RP: We’re seeing developers come up with creative ways to use SmartGlass for new modes of game play. Compared to Xbox 360, we’ve greatly improved the performance and decreased latencies between the console and your SmartGlass device. Because of this, we’re seeing scenarios where SmartGlass can be used for methods of game control with Xbox One. Additionally, because Xbox One is built on the same foundations as Windows 8, we’ve taken all the work that’s been done discovering how touch behaves in Windows 8 and naturally extended it for SmartGlass scenarios. This results in a much better experience when using SmartGlass as a controller. But it has to be the right fit for the right game to use SmartGlass as a dedicated controller. You can imagine the possibilities where a personal second screen would be really valuable, like play-calling in a football game.
How can gamers use SmartGlass when they’re away from their Xbox One? SmartGlass is your Xbox One dashboard when you’re away from your console and keeps you in touch with your Xbox One games and community. In addition to staying connected to your friends, sending and receiving messages, and checking all your Achievements, SmartGlass will show your friends’ activity and let you look at the games they’re playing. From there, you can pin those games in SmartGlass and those pins will appear on your Xbox One the next time you’re connected to Xbox Live. We’re making it easier to find new games by adding the ability to search the entire Xbox Games Store within SmartGlass. And we’re adding a promoted games section that delivers titles specific to your tastes based on your gaming history.
How does SmartGlass connect you with your Xbox Live friends? SmartGlass serves up game details pages that let you get competitive in a new way by showing you your friends’ progress relative to your own if you’re playing the same game. You can compare your Achievements and Challenges and other stats that developers deem relevant to their game. You can send and receive messages with your Xbox Live friends so you can talk trash or send congrats on their recent wins. You’ll also have access to Game DVR clips that you and your friends create.
Ron Pessner then explained how Smartglass will work with the Entertainment side to Xbox ONE:
How does SmartGlass interact with TV on Xbox One?
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.
Smartglass has yet to fulfil its full potential on Xbox 360, but with Xbox One it looks as though the platform finally has the foundation to deliver that extra experience for Xbox One owners. With its improvements in both Speed and functionality, Xbox One and Smartglass will be an intriguing aspect of Next Generation Gaming.
Dead Rising 3’s Executive producer Josh Bridge told the LA Times in a recent interview about a cool new SmartGlass feature set for the Xbox One edition of the upcoming Zombie slasher – Dead Rising 3. The game is literally going to call and text you some real scary shit we hope!
“We have a feature in the game that essentially interweaves through the story and tells its own story with its own character,” said Bridge. “It’s as though the game kind of comes out of the screen and you’re literally holding it in your hand.
“You’ll get calls from this character, text messages and just additional game play from this device, which is kind of cool. We geeked out on it because it was cool just to have our phones be part of the game. It’s something we were surprised by, how many folks were really excited by that.
“It’s new for us as developers to have this opportunity that we haven’t had before, and now going onto Xbox One we had this. We tried to really run with it and tried to give it its own character, essentially.”