xbox companion app

Good news for you Xbox 360 users out there (we hope that's most of you), the Companion app has received a nice little update to v1.1 this morning in the Marketplace.

Unfortunately, no word on what the changes are as there seems to be no obvious new features on board. But perhaps coincidentally, our Xbox 360 just received a system update to its OS and maybe the two are related. Or not.

(Edit: Today's Xbox 360 update is "... to quickly fix some voice recognition issues affecting our non-English speaking members" according to Microsoft's Major Nelson.)

Go download the app in the Marketplace here and in the meantime, we'll work on nailing down a changelog for ya. Thanks, Kyle S., for the heads up

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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!

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Xbox Companion app due out tomorrow

We've previously covered the Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone that was to be released soon after the Xbox dashboard refresh. This app will enable users to control their Xbox consoles and browse the Marketplace for media (music, movies and games), launch movies and music, view friends activity, search for information on what's currently playing (via Bing), and control playback.

The Xbox Companion app is set to be made available on the Marketplace for free tomorrow and will bring more integration between the two platforms with Windows 8 creeping around the corner. Thinking of three screens anyone? We'll take a deeper look at the app once it's published.

Source: Microsoft, via: Major Nelson

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Hot on the heels of the Xbox 360 Dashboard update comes the Xbox Companion App for Windows Phone. The Companion App for Windows Phone is one of the first apps that will truly augment your Xbox 360 user experience, giving you a parallel method to effortless retrieve current information about media, in addition to selecting things to watch. From the Windows Phone Blog a few months ago:

  • "Finding Content: Just like on your Xbox, the Xbox Companion gives you instant access to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace catalog of games, movies, music and TV shows. I used it to search “Featured Content” and pulled up the X-Men: First Class.
  • Learn more about what you’re watching, listening to, or playing: Once I found the movie and touched the movie tile, the Xbox companion app took me to an info page that has all the related details about. And the content is really rich, too – for example, when I swiped to the “cast” page and touched an actor’s name, like star James McAvoy, I was taken to other movies starring him. From there, I could easily learn more about the other movies, their cast, etc. It’s an infinite road of interactive content.
  • Control & Play: Once I selected the content and hit play, the Xbox Companion flips into “controller mode” in which I could navigate my Xbox, or control video playback of your video. The best part here is that controls are virtually instantaneous – easily as fast as using my controller or a TV remote."

We got to personally play with the app back in October at Nokia World and we were quite impressed with it. The main reason? It didn't feel gimmicky or something "cool but we'd never use" (like our front-facing camera on our phone), but instead it felt like an app that we would use a lot and for legitimate reasons. Combined with that Xbox 360 Dashboard update, which we've been rocking for a few weeks now, this mini-overhaul to the Xbox should be pretty killer for an already great system.

We'll keep our eyes peeled for it on Tuesday and in the meantime, you can check out our video hands on after the break.

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With the news of on-demand TV content for Xbox 360 officially confirmed, Windows Phone owners might be feeling a little neglected. Don’t worry, guys, Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about us. In fact, watching TV on the 360 will be even more convenient for people with Windows Phones. That’s because Microsoft just announced the Xbox Companion App for WP7!

Ben Rudolph at the Windows Blog shares his experiences with the app:

  • "Finding Content: Just like on your Xbox, the Xbox Companion gives you instant access to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace catalog of games, movies, music and TV shows. I used it to search “Featured Content” and pulled up the X-Men: First Class.
  • Learn more about what you’re watching, listening to, or playing: Once I found the movie and touched the movie tile, the Xbox companion app took me to an info page that has all the related details about. And the content is really rich, too – for example, when I swiped to the “cast” page and touched an actor’s name, like star James McAvoy, I was taken to other movies starring him. From there, I could easily learn more about the other movies, their cast, etc. It’s an infinite road of interactive content.
  • Control & Play: Once I selected the content and hit play, the Xbox Companion flips into “controller mode” in which I could navigate my Xbox, or control video playback of your video. The best part here is that controls are virtually instantaneous – easily as fast as using my controller or a TV remote."

Microsoft has been promising stronger Xbox 360 and Windows Phone integration for a long time, and now it’s finally happening. The availability of the app, provided Microsoft advertises it a little bit, should help promote Windows Phones to Xbox 360 users, which can only be good. Speaking of availability, the Xbox Companion App doesn’t have a specific release date yet, but it should materialize sometime shortly after the Fall 2011 Dashboard update, which lands in November. It will of course be free.

Make the jump after the break to see video highlights of what's coming to the Xbox consoles. Around the 1:00 mark you'll see the new Windows Phone app in action.

Source: Windows Blog

Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!

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