Microsoft Updates iOS My Xbox Live App - Takes it to the next level

Microsoft continues to flesh out their Xbox live app for those of us that have iPads. The latest update brings more of the once exclusive features of the Windows Phone Companion App to iOS users. Unlike Windows Phone, which has a combination of apps to take care of Xbox live business, the iPad rolls all the functions into one. Personally, I like it all integrated into one whole and have been a little confused as to why the Windows Phone has essentially stuck with the Xbox Hub plus the two addition apps called Xbox Companion app and Xbox LIVE Extras App.

The iPad app has the following features:-

  • Access to Quickplay
  • Now Playing
  • Menu Bar
  • Discovery

Whilst this is not quite SmartGlass just yet, it is certainly designed to bring the core technology closer for when that moment arrives. As an iPad owner myself I certainly appreciate these updates, the Xbox 360 should be accessible to all those in a living room and that means having a good cross platform story.

The only niggling thing for me is, I cannot help but wonder why MS is able to push out updates for iOS devices that in many cases have a better UX than for their operating systems. I will point the finger at Photosynth being available on iOS a long time before Windows Phone and also the excellent Bing  app for the iPad having no counterpart application for Windows.

As the Xbox Live Companion app and Xbox Live Extras app are effectively spun out of the core OS in Windows Phone it has allowed them to be updated more effectively than apps such as Maps. Not much is known about Windows Phone 8 yet, one would hope MS have a more reliable way to keep the built in features updated so hopefully Windows Phone users will always have the best experience using Microsoft technologies going forward.

Think MS is doing a good job with cross platform support for Xbox? Do you think they should be showing more love when it comes to their own home-grown app offerings on Windows Phone and Windows? Get in there and let us know!

Source: Apple itunes (opens in new tab)

Robert Brand
  • Meh, I don't blame them, I wouldn't be working on improving the 7.5 user experience either when WP8 is so close.
  • Yeah, perhaps it's already done for WP8 and WP7 is left in the dust :/ :/
  • look on the bright side, it could be included in the 7.8 update
  • Bahahahahah oh that's funny
  • I just hope they deliver many "exclusive" options to WP8 because this is nice but exclusivity for their own devices would be best (aka smartglass should only be a W8 or WP8 addition)
  • While I understand your point, limiting Smartglass to WP would cause it to be stillborn. Windows 8/RT is still too much of an unknown. IPad is still they 800 lb gorilla in the room. You just aren't going to be able to make it right now if you ignore the platform. It is like the iPod. They were popular, sure, but as long as they were Mac only they were limited in reach. It wasn't until they added Windows support that they really cemented themselves as the de facto king of personal music players. ITMS would never have had the clout without being on Windows PCs. Same thing with Quicktime. It still isn't the most popular codec but it wouldn't be anything at all if they hadn't decided to add a PC version. The better solution is to make it available on iPad and Android but to make the experience on W8 and WP8 devices better. MS devices get new features first, exclusive features and a better UX.
  • What's UX? In the article I just thought it was a typo of UI, as in "a better User Interface"
  • UX = user experience (of which UI is just a part). Here is some further reading if you're interested.
  • Thanks, I should have put that in there.
  • I understand why they are doing it... "brand recognition" but MS has brought apps to others way before bringing it to WP7. Case in point: photosynth... They announced a release for iOS prior to even having anything for WP7. All I'm saying is, take care of the platform u have first then the customers won't feel so left out. I know we have a limit to what we can do on WP7 but that's why I say that in WP8 they should not have these "limitations" and be able to provide us with more options to compete with other platforms... But I understand that the brand has to grow... But you still gotta fertilize and care for your current garden... jejeje
  • I agree. You need to finish the the garden you started, before helping your neighbor. It leaves your neighbor with a great looking garden, and a mess in front of your house.
  • You guys are great with the Gardening metaphors! I like that your saying!
  • They just need to modularize all the system components and then push out updates to individual programs through the market. But I suppose there's a reason the can't do that... Oh well.
  • I had the same thought. Maps, etc haven't gotten updates besides the back end because the carriers screw up the update process.
  • Microsoft is smart
  • I agree. They take better care of non Windows Phone users, but not actual Windows Phone users. Smart considering there's so few of us.
  • I don't blame them when making stuff like this but I wish they would give Windows Phone some exclusive that makes other platforms jealous. Like a Halo or Gears of War mobile game.
  • This is exactly my sentiment, AriesDog. Don't get me wrong, I really do appreciate where Microsoft is going with their cross-platform strategy - this will make sure that Microsoft stays a player in all forms of home entertainment for years to come.
    What I find increasingly frustrating, however, is Microsoft's inability to make Windows Phone a "WOW!" operating system either through impressive app exclusivity or innovative features not found on any other mobile OS.
    In my opinion, iOS's killer feature is its developer (and consumer) mindshare that brings new apps to the marketplace first and foremost before any other OS gets attention. Android  (again, just one man's opinion) has so many interesting features being implemented all the time that it makes tech users forget about fragmentation due to the platform's innovative nature and customizability.
    I believe WP has the best OS in terms of UI and operational smoothness, but other than that WP just doesn't bring anything new to the table that would grab a potential customer's attention away from a competitor.
    If Microsoft delivers a killer app, such as a video game like Halo with xbox-level graphics, on WP then this would be one example where they would shut me (and others) up.
  • Again why do they get a better experience then WP users.... I'm really beginning to grow tired of this stupidity from MS
  • They're actually pushing me more & more to ditching them in favor of apple. At least I can get the latest, newest, shiniest Microsoft apps that way. And not have to wait months after apple gets them.
  • I wonder if part of the reason is because XBox Live is baked into the WP OS while it's a standalone app on other platforms. Due to this, it's easier to push updates to apps (including entire rewrites) versus pushing an entire OS update for an XBox Live update. It's certainly no justification for seemingly insufficient support for WP7, but just a thought.
  • I would say you are right to do that would be a complete update to the OS. Its probably alot of changes in wp8 maybe more change even in 7.8
  • yeah if their is ONE thing i would actually vote for in the MS suggestion is for mS to support their own OS befor others when it coems to apps....
  • Good luck on that. Won't happen until they feel the numbers justify other words it's all about $$$$
  • I just don't get it !
    Windows Phone is created by the world biggest software company - and the main problem with with the platform is the lack of decent software !
    If Microsoft were really committed to Windows Phone - they would have been developing exclusive apps like this from the beginning. New features and software SHOULD have been rolled out on Windows Phone first and then migrated to IOS to Android afterwards - but always keeping the best for WP. How else can you entice potential buyers ?
    The fact that they are releasing better software on competitor products first just shows they are not 100% committed to WP. I believe they are already planning for the failure of WP.
  • Who cares
  • "The only niggling thing for me is, I cannot help but wonder why MS is able to push out updates for iOS devices that in many cases have a better UX than for their operating systems. I will point the finger at Photosynth being available on iOS a long time before Windows Phone and also the excellent Bing  app for the iPad having no counterpart application for Windows."..................... I feel that the Xbox apps on Windows 8 are much better than the IOS version and definitely more fleshed out. Even the Windows Phone app has better features. And as for Photosynth that team was very transpearant in saying it was because of code access. They needed to convert native code in a way that would work with Windows Phone.
  • "Even the Windows Phone app has better features." How did you come to this conclusion? On WP you need separate apps to get the same experience on ios, I dont call that having better features.
  • What the fuck is niggling. What that be the same as crackerly
  • Hahaha I thought the same thing abond. Then I tough, even if it's legit, don't use it
  • Niggling: 1. petty; trivial; inconsequential: to quibble about a niggling difference in terminology. 2. demanding too much care, attention, time, etc.: niggling chores about the house
  • lol it's a VERY common word...
  • Thanks for helping the reader on that one. :)
  • Just delay ios updates. Fuck them. I bought a Wp7 for a reason, which was to get the best integration in the fastest way. This is bullshit. GIVE THIS OS AS MANY FUCKING ADVANTAGES AS POSSIBLE!!!
  • Does anyone know if ios games have achievements because if or when it does I'm gone.
  • Not yet, but I'm sure it will happen. And then I'll be in line at the apple store with you!
  • Flawed reasoning, why would you go back to boring lifeless iPhone.
  • This is the kind of things thurrot hate about MSFT..
  • This is stupid. They care less about their own customers. What's the point of buying a windows phone when u say the one great feature about windows phone is Xbox live?
  • I don't believe it is a case that they don't care about us, I think it is the simple fact that they can roll it out for Apple users, so why not? A. It is allowing them to branch out sooner than if they were to wait for Windows 8, Surface tablets and Windows Phone 8 to be released first. B. I believe it gives Microsoft the opportunity to flesh it out a bit by working on it on other platforms. By the time they release a new app for new Metro products, it is as good as it can be on all platforms, if not better for us.
  • Again, I personally dont know any core gamers switching phones because of Live connectivity. I went to WP not even aware of integration and it was a pleasant surprise. But even if I did know, it would not have been a deal breaker in choosing WP. Also, I see on alot of communities that many people don't even consider mobile gaming a valid form of gaming. Now, that's not to say these guys won't change their tune if they were aware of the WP/Xbox Live perks. I get the sense many don't know or dont care as its never brought up in the discussions