Play Nice(r) With Your Phone, Your Xbox, and Xbox SmartGlass

This month I’m testing out the Nokia Lumia 928 phone from Verizon Wireless. It’s a Windows phone, which is a change of pace for me, so I’ve been on the hunt for fun apps to share with all of you. There are lots of great apps out there, but I stumbled across something I wasn’t familiar with: Xbox SmartGlass. Now, SmartGlass isn’t exactly new (it came out last year), but it’s new to me. I bet it’s new to a lot of you, as well. Xbox SmartGlass allows you to pair mobile devices with your Xbox to allow enhanced control and content.


One of my favorite thing about Windows phones is that they play nicely with PCs. You have one Microsoft account across your PC, phone, and Xbox, and information is quickly and easily shared between devices. You can easily sync data and setting up a new device is quick because you just need to log in. SmartGlass takes that to another level. Xbox SmartGlass is a free app. It’s available for Windows 8 PCs, Windows phones, and a variety of iOS and Android devices as well. Each platform offers slightly different features, but the overall experience is the same.

One the most basic level, SmartGlass allows you to browse your Xbox dashboard using your mobile device. You can navigate menus, start and pause movies, etc. It will show you the latest games you’ve played, and you can even watch your avatar strut across the screen. But Xbox SmartGlass also attempts to bring another layer of interactivity to your experience. While watching a movie or playing a game, your mobile device can display bonus content, such as a map or information about the actors. My favorite part about SmartGlass, though, is that it allows you to use your device keyboard to enter information in on the Xbox. No more scrolling around through the oncreen keyboard to enter usernames and passwords!

Setting up Xbox SmartGlass is super easy:

  1. Download the app on your device and sign in to your Microsoft Live account.
  2. Make sure that SmartGlass is enabled on your Xbox (Settings-System-Console Settings-Connected Devices).
  3. Sign in to the same Microsoft Live account on your Xbox.
  4. Find the button on your SmartGlass app that says, “Connect to Xbox.”

And there you have it. Painless.

I should point out that many of the cool content features on SmartGlass will require either buying/renting content or having a Microsoft Live Gold Subscription, both at an additional cost. But even without the enhanced content, it will gain you easier control over your console, especially for watching movies or browsing the web.

Disclosure: I received a Windows phone for review purposes through my relationship with the #VZWBuzz Lifestyle Blogger program. Other than occasional product and perks, there is no additional compensation and the opinions contained in this post are my own.

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