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Xbox Companion Windows Phone app now available

Xbox Companion App

The Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone is now available to download from the Marketplace after an anxious wait by Xbox 360 owners since the app and dashboard UI update were announced earlier this year. From being able to control playback and view friend activity, all the way to browse media content and having the ability to pull information on what's currently playing (cast background from a movie as an example).

Although it's a day late, it's sure to be well worth the wait. You can download Xbox Companion from the Marketplace for free.

Thanks everyone who sent tips in!

XBox Live Companion App

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Reader comments

Xbox Companion Windows Phone app now available

65 Comments

Hmm doesn't seem to be worth the wait, looks very nice but seems really pointless. Will there be more features for its use later on maybe?? Can't see any option to view friends activity from it . And under quickplay option it lists all games you have played on the console but what use is it without the disk being in the console.. Hardly quickplay if you have to get up put the disk in

control media and search which can be done by the wireless controller or better still voice through kinect which i would much prefer the use of..

not everyone has kinect so this phone companion is a nice rich feature for thos who dont want to handle a clunky remote or controller to thumb through shows. Also does your standard controller or remote give you a detailed description of shows your are watching or ones you searched for while you are actively watching a show . its so nice not to have to leave a movie/show aka interruption of what i or my wife maybe watching. this is nice for the kids to have so they can scan for the next movie or show they want to watch next without interrupting the current one. lets see a controller or remote do that.

but you need your standard Xbox controller to play it so why use your phone to boot up a game when your controller can also do it?

Are you trolling or actually have used the app? quickplay not only launches games, but launches the hub for the game, therefore you can quicklaunch a title just to  buy dlc or purchase a demo to play later, or whateve rhte hell you want. Not to mention it only CONTROLLS THE WHOLE DASHBOARD.  I swear, why complain about extra functionality.............

it works as the same way it does on your console dumb ass.  why do people post things and not no what they are talking about.  hit the icon button on the controller and it brings up the menu. choose quick play bam the same thing it shows on the phone. so shut the f-up. And if u want friends and activities launch your xbox live on your phone it does just that. this is a companion remote it gives up a heads up on your phone for media content and allows controll of your xbox through your phone.

yea and my point is that this article states that one of the features of the xbox COMPANION APP IS IT VIEW FREINDS ACTIVITY which is NOT the case as you do this in the xbox hub which is an old feature

Article is wrong and should be changed then because if you clearly read the market place description it tells no idication of this. its a x box remote why cant people understand this not just pointing fingers im talking as a whole. yes it would be nice to have this feature and that feature but as it stands now its a very impressive app.
 

Article is not wrong.
 
Launch a game, and it will show you what of your friends are also playing that game in the companion app, i just tried it on my xbox. Forgot to check if you could invite them into a fifa game, will try tomorrow.

Actually you can view friend activity of a certain game/app. Launch the title on your 360 (you can do this from the app). Hit the "discover more" button on the app. From there you will notice 6 more tabs have opened. Scroll to the right to "friends". It'll show you your friends that have played the title, and when they played it. That is, by definition, is friends activity.
Now if you're looking for a friends list, drop out of the Companion app and look at your friends list in the native Xbox app that is build into 7.5.
 
I don't believe anywhere in any description of this app EVER was it said that this would replace a controller. It's an added way to interact with your 360. That is all, nothing more, nothing less. You can control videos/netflix, get more information on what you are playing/watching, see what friends have played it, etc. If you believed it would entail more, then that is your fault for not understanding what the app would entail. I for one read articles and understood what the app would do, and guess what, it does all those things, very well.
 
And to the earlier complaint of "Why give the ability to launch a game if you need to get up and put the disc in?" Are you for real? I mean really? You expect a phone app to be able to teleport the game disc into your tray so that you don't need to get up? Really? How else did you expect that to function? Here's how I expected it to function: Play an XBLA title, use phone to quick launch the disc that is in the console. Get bored of that game and use phone to quick launch Netflix, oh wait, they don't have what I want. Use phone to bing the movie I am looking for and launch it in Zune. And guess what, it does that.
 
 
Before going online to complain about the functionality of an app, you should really one, use the app more, and two, understand the functionality of it.
 
 

I didn't come on line to complain I came on to give my opinion.. There's a difference in which perhaps you need to understand

And why is it only those "defending" the app that feel the need to insult people and be aggressive. Calm down, its only an internet opinion.
Its a heads up of media content but your Xbox has to be on for you to access it so you could just as easily as access it from the Xbox itself.
 
It allows control of the Xbox through your phone, apart from the lack of a home button or back button for quick exit of Xbox programs and also doesn't have the bumper buttons for quick menu access, you also have to see the screen so your controller that is generally by your console provides better control than your phone. If you are referring to the quick launches you need the controller to use the programs once booted so you might as well use the controller in the first place.

I agree, MattEvansC3. "Defenders" are taking comments way too personally. I like to read these conversations to learn more about apps, shortcuts, problems, solutions, etc. And I learn a lot. But I get frustrated that so many others "like me" who love Windows Phone are so vulgar. I guess they are hiding behind internet monikers. Not cool.

Another bummer is there's no way to use this as a remote for a different xbox live account.  We use netflix and hulu upstairs on a different gold account and i cant use the app on a different xbox.  It's tied to your gamertag.. Disappointing.. The app is pretty cool besides that.  I hope there's an update to flick back and fourth from tv to phone to watch video.  That would be pure hotness!!

my kids will love it because now I can't use the lack of a third controller as why I cannot join them in a game!

Pretty cool but could use some improvements. No select/start/xbox button, no landscape support.

I had an idea that would be awesome. If the companion could be compatible with certain games, for example Call of Duty. While you're in a match, it could display the current match stats, or let you choose classes and such while playing.

Ye I know, but Microsoft could definetely push it. Thats just an idea. Microsoft could release some API for indie developers to take advantage of the app too

The companion app won't have that last functionality that you mentioned. But the next version of Halo Waypoint I believe will not only track your current game session, but have on on screen map that shows you where your teammates are and where weapons are located. So you will sort of be getting that.
 
 
As for start/select/guide, I agree completely. Not being able to use the Companion app to return to the dashboard is a bit of a bummer. Unless there is a button on it that I haven't yet located.

Don't bother getting the Xbox Companion, or if you do complain to MS because its all a bit pointless and rubbish. Your Xbox has to be on for it to work which makes roaming pretty much redundant unless you like high energy bills from leaving the console on while you are out.

Its seems more focused towards Zune as it doesn't have a dedicated Games Marketplace option but has a Zune one, the featured list is also primarily movies.

It presents you with a list of games for quicklaunch but none of your installed apps. The remote has a d-pad as well as the A, B, Y and X buttons but no home, start or back buttons so even if you were too launch a game from your phone you still need the handset to play or even exit the game making it redundant for anything other than pranking/annoying people.

This companion doesn't replace either the handset, remote control or multimedia keypad. It sucks as a remote game manager/on the move games browser and even the Zune purchases are a bit pointless because your console has to be on for it to connect.

The app needed to either replace the multimedia remote or act as a remote Xbox content manager. WP7.5 has a barcode/OCR scanner so why not add that to the companion? You see a game in a shop, you scan the barcode/see a game in a magazine and scan the title and the app brings up the game details that also give you the option to download a trial to your Xbox when it next boots up or if you were that way inclined do the same for Zune and scan a DVD barcode to rent it or a CD barcode to add it to your Zune Pass playlist. You buy points in store, type the code into the companion app and it updates your account balance.

I like my WP7 but if the app as it stands is is how MS see future integration then I may seriously have to consider looking at Apple for my next phone.       

Can the iPhone do any of the stuff with your XBOX that the Companion app can do?  I'm seriously asking because I'm rather clueless on that front.  If it can't, you'll be reverting to a platform that is less suited for your XBOX gaming needs than what you wish you had now.
To think that the Companion app will stay in this state and never evolve/improve is pretty shortsighted in my mind. 

Neither iPhone or Android can do it.  If MS has any sense they won't allow them to.  The companion app will evolve as all good apps do.  Even better might be opening up to developers to do mediocre things like starting a DVD up or controlling Netflix to name a couple of things.  Some people just like to complain. :)

I bought the WP7 because it was meant to be an Xbox Live phone, when MS announced this companion they said you could remotely control your Xbox. Other than its UI the main selling point of the WP7 phone is its Live connectivity so when WP7 isn't really doing that you have to start ask why you have that phone over an other phone.
This companion app does nothing for my gaming needs. The Xbox 360 has to be on for the app to work (if it can't connect to the physical unit it'll give you a nice little message and won't let you access the app). Why would you have your Xbox on when you aren't at home? Even if you did why would you want to launch a game when you aren't in the house to play it? If you were in the house why would you use your phone to load a game instead of the standard controller? Especially when there's no start button to actually start the game, analogue sticks, bumpers or triggers to play it and no home button to exit the screen?
Yes it may evolve or improve over time but the companion app was released with more Zune promience than Xbox 360 prominence, that sets a standard of expectations, that even on the Xbox Companion the Xbox is not the focus.
Its not a question of what can the iPhone do that a WP7 with the Xbox Companion app can't, its a question of what can a WP7 with the Xbox Companion do that your Xbox controller can't. The answer to that sadly is nothing unless you are somebody who has their Xbox 360 switched on when they are not near the Xbox 360 AND wants to launch a game/app/movie when they are not by their Xbox 360 to uae/watch said game/app/movie

You thought this was going to replace your controller?  Why are you worried about it having joysticks and stuff?  That makes no sense...
it is supposed to be a media remote...start, stop, pause, rewind...and do that all for Netflix, Hulu, Zune and the Media Center...
Does it not do any of that?  (seriously...I assume it does, but am at work and having touched it)
Why would you EXPECT it to work outside of your house let alone WANT it to work?
I will say though the idea that it could (or rather BING VISION) could scan a game and que the demo downloading is pretty sweet, but again that has NOTHING to do with this app as is all done through your GamerTag.  Technically that can be done already on the go if there was a connection between scanning a game and that game's info on Xbox.com...

You could technically on your phone goto XBOX.COM and search for the game and tell it to download to your console already. Maybe a indie dev' will release it so you can scan the barcode and your wishes are granted if im not mistaken. For isntance venture over and search for gears of war (http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/Gears-of-War-3/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d8024d5308ab?nosplash=1) you can flag stuff to download on the fly right their. no reason a indie dev could not release your said functionality or Microsoft themselves ..

Exactly, because once Bing Vision knows what game you are looking for, it would be incredibly easy for that to push you to the Xbox.com site.  Hell, if anything that is a great way for them to push more DLC (because along with the Demo is all the DLC listing).  Plus if you buy the disc game, you can que the DLC right then so it will already be purchased when you get home.

Curtieson, you may want to re-read my post before trying to pick holes.
What I was stating was what is the point in being able to launch a game from your phone when you need the Xbox controller to play it or exit it?
It was never stated to be a media remote and it doesn't have a play, pause, stop or any other multi media buttons, all it has is a D-Pad and the A, B, Y and X buttons.
The app lets you launch games but not play or exit them, it will let you launch Zune but not Media Centre. If you select a movie to rent via Zune it will bring it up on the Xbox but not the WP7.
The app does nothing that you can't already do with your Xbox controller, media remote or Kinect and it has less functionality. Why does it let you remote control your PC through a mobile internet connection when all the tasks you do will appear on the TV screen? Why would you use this app to launch an app on the Xbox (as an example to launch Lovefilm, the UK Netflix, you have to go to the Bing search screen, search for Lovefilm, wait for the list of hits, click on the app link and then press the launch button on that page) when you can just pick up your controller and do it?
The app doesn't accomplish anything new and anything it does do in relation to the Xbox 360 is more convulated than just using the controller.
 

It does have play pause rewind fast forward.  Play a movie on Netflix and you can control the entire thing from your phone.
I enjoy that while I'm watching an episode of say, Star Trek Voyager - it'll give me a description, show me the cast adn their other works, and show me similar titles taht I can jump to (including individual seasons).
my controller doesn't do that from one area.

Wahhh cry me a river. Many people use Zune as do I. All levels it is beneficial. Boy who cried wolf... Wahhhh Q.Q stop crying already, it's not the end of the world nor is the sky falling nor is there a wolf.

Whoa, let's not be hasty.  It's a step in the right direction.  It's a companion app, not a replacement and do everything imaginable app.  More functionality will come.  Patience is a virtue not many have these days.

It might not have a dedicated Games Marketplace (which would be nice). But both bing and the related tab pull information from the game marketplace. From both those locations you can navigate to a game and tell it to play now on your console. If you don't already own it, it will take you to that games marketplace page (on your console) where you can buy it, download the trial, view screenshots(which you can do on the app), etc.
 
The quickplay list is incomplete and a bit flawed. Some apps show up (mine shows ESPN for instance), but most won't. Showing you every game/app on your console would make a lot more sense. However, after a quick bing search for Netflix I was able to launch it on my console from my phone. So it was one extra step, but still did what I wanted.
 
I'll give you the fact that it has it's quirks, but it is an awesome jumping off point and I can see myself using it fairly often.

?*&#  that guy above me, he should make his own app to do exactly what he wants it to do. I think it's pretty awesome and a step in the right direction. 

If you think this is not going to continue to evolve then I am sorry you have no idea what software development is. This is a EXCELLENT start to a bright future between all of Microsofts Products and I would not doubt you see this being offered in the Windows 8 Market place for those shiney new tablets. Sure it could of had this and could of had that instead of blasting it on these forums why not do the right thing and hit up Microsoft directly with your feedback.

How's this for irony (and a slap in the face for WP7 users)? The Xbox companion app released but what gets in the headlines? The Xbox Live app for ios. Probably wont be long before the companion app is ported too. So whats the point of having a WP7 if all the functionality is found on an iphone?

If the Xbox functionality is the same on ios and WP7 it just makes it one less reason to buy a WP7 device. How does that help when Nokia or HTC make ads, Xbox is now on ios so thats one USP they cant use to sell WP7. Absolutely bone-headed move.

I swear to god, some people are never going to be happy with anything. Do you really think that this is just how the companion app is going to be forever and ever? C'mon, folks. It's just a start. New, added and improved functionality will surely be coming down the pike in future updates. If it doesn't include a feature that you (and others) think should be there yet, well that's what feedback is for. I went to the marketplace to download this thing after it had been out for more than an hour and there was ONE comment. Just one. If there's something you don't like then tell MS. Don't sit over here and gripe about it, WPCentral can't change it. And for those of you threatening to jump ship over something this inconsequential, I heartily invite you to go right ahead and don't let the door hit you on the way out. It's pretty obvious you're miserable and never satisfied anyway, so I'm certain you will find other things to whine about on the other platform and be just as miserable and unsatisfied over there, too. No company is ever going to be all things to all people and get everything perfect and exactly the way everyone wants it first rattle out of the box, and if you believe they should or that such a company exists you really need to check your expectations because they are way beyond unreasonable.

Thanks for that expression! Thank you soooo much. People are far too needy, I mean if you dont have the technology to make it better dont complain. I know for a fact MS is busting their ass to make sure this works properly, w/ all systems in-tact, little to no bugs, give them a break. This is brand new software, and Im damn happy for them. "I want to play COD through my phone" wtf? Why would you even want to do that? The xbox 360 is still an original gaming system, wp7 only improves the user experience, it wont replace it. Nor will it replace the full functionality of a standard controller.
This is a large step in a great direction. You never know what may happen in 2 weeks, a new update? More functionality? Give it time... Another good thing to point out, this works w/o your console being connected wifi. I still use an ethernet cord, and unlike my computer it still works perfectly.

WTH, Xbox LIve app that does the same thing our xbox hub was released to the Iphone. The main reason I got 3 people to switch to WP7 is because they loved the Xbox integration they couldn't have on their Iphones.

Some bizarre comments on here. Its the first edition and more features will come lets just get down of our high horses.
By some peoples comments on here we would still be using square wheels because the first ones were not very good. Forgetting that the alternative did not even exist or was even worse.

Did anyone else notice it was released on 11/29/2011 according to Zune?  Hmm...thats around the time I got my beta dashboard.  Coincidence?  Maybe

Okay the Xbox Companion App for WP7 is really cool.

From it (once it was synced from to my 360) I was able to Launch Halo:CEA from quickplay(all the titles on my console or that I've played). After it launched I was then able to, on the app, click "discover more" which opened up 6 new tabs. Each of them follows: overview (a general description and the ability to set up beacons for the game), friends (a list of friends who have played it and current online activity), achievements (all the achievements for the game and which ones I have gotten), images (screenshots from the game), related (a list of similar/related titles for the 360). Oh and it has a controller mode that gives me the 4 face buttons and directions to use to control my 360.
Oh and this applies to more than just games too. I started up Being Human on Netflix and then hit "discover more". Gave me control over what I was watching (pause, play, skip forwards/back), an overview tab, a cast and crew tab, and a related tab. Really slick and cool app.

jeez based on the way you guys are talking about this its as if someone shot you in the face its just a cool feature why bother getting upset if its just something more.... enjoy it and stop bickering and to correct wp7 wasnt meant to be an xbox gaming phone it was meant to be a smartphone with certain xbox capability nothing more nothing less news flash it does other things besides xbox so why bash it on its xbox feature alone dude if you dont think the app is useful thats fine man thats ur opinion and your entitle to it but dont bring the party down because some people do find it useful be a little less harsh even if you feel its useless the dev still put alot of work into and thats all that should matter