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Xbox Live Companion app updated for iOS, released for Android, holds tight for Windows Phone

Xbox Live Companion App for Windows Phone

Microsoft has updated the Xbox Live Companion app for iOS and released a version for the Android system. While there was no movement on the Windows Phone version, the iOS update may be a good indicator on what might be in store.

The Xbox Live Companion update for iOS takes that app to version 1.5 and adds the following features for the iPhone or iPad.

  • Discover fresh content from the iPhone
  • Connect to and control content on your Xbox console from the iPhone
  • Authentication improvements for the iPad
  • Retina display support for the iPad

Xbox Companion App for iOS

The Android version of the Xbox Live Companion is limited to:

  • View, manage, and message friends
  • View Xbox achievement progress
  • View and edit your LIVE profile
  • Edit your avatar
  • Stay connected to the Xbox Live community via Spotlight
  • Access recent activity and manage beacons

While it's nice to see Microsoft continuing to improve iOS and Android users connectivity with their Xbox console it would have been nice to have seen the Windows Phone app given a little attention. Then again, SmartGlass will eventually become available and may make the companion app obsolete.

Source: Major Nelson

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Reader comments

Xbox Live Companion app updated for iOS, released for Android, holds tight for Windows Phone

64 Comments

This is great for Microsoft's console sales, which can be helpful to sell WP and the Microsoft ecosystem. They need to give WP and Win8 some really good exclusive features to attract a switch.

I really don't think many people will go out and buy an Xbox JUST because their iPhone will control it now.  There are apps for the iPhone to control everything you have...this app is a sale following, not a sales leader for the console.  However, with the Gold service...They are trying to get you to use the Xbox you already own more, and maybe push a couple of people into the Xbox LIVE pool.

I think he was suggesting people would switch to WP if it has exclusive features that ios/droid don't have... Not that they would buy more xboxes.

Except Microsoft's- and by extension Windows Phone- primary problem isn't really quality or features; it's perception. And the only way to alter perception is to have more people using your products on whatever platform they happen to be, and to have them realize it isn't 2005 anymore and that MS has been putting out excellent consumer oriented products for years now.

While Incan appreciate what Microsoft is doing for the company as a whole; I am also not blind to the fact they might be making it easier for current and future WP7 user to leave or not become a user at all. Especially with Samsung releasing the Galaxy SIII & note (not that I'm a fan of any of those devices, but people want the latest and greatest). If Android keeps getting newer devices as well as app from MS and app developers, the metro iu alone isn't going to entice people.....we have to have an advantage and with MS releasing apps for all platforms, the list is getting short. One reason apple is succeeding is the they're looking out for #1 themselves. SOMEONE PLEASE DELIVER THIS MESSAGE TO MS ASAP!!!!

I agree. I just don't understand the thinking here. It's like a slap in the face to WP7 users while other platform users are laughing at us.

I've already left, well, sort of.  I'm now rocking a Galaxy S3.  Don't get me wrong, I still love WP7, I've been since October 2010, but my Omnia 7 is now my secondary device, that's all .  I'm just not prepared to wait till may be October for WP8, when there are oustanding handsets like HTC One X and GS3 in the market right now.  And with Android, there are simply no shortages of apps, none whatsoever.  Lets hope Microsoft truly blow our minds come  20th of June.

+1 I'm on T-Mobile USA. To have a good phone I'm having to use a Titan 2. I have to settle for edge and no mms. The jump to a Samsung note is really gonna be easy if I can get all my windows phone features on a android phone.

Its all about ecosystem. Microsoft believes, and I agree, that if they can penetrate the Market with this then they can pull more people to their ecosystem. For them to destroy the console gaming (and internet TV) market, they have to offer cross platform services. I don't think that this app going cross platform is going to cause the die hard WP fans to jump ship, or fans of other OS's to jump either. But someone who hasn't really taken advantage of or used Metro yet may find that they like what Microsoft has to offer with it on Xbox and try more of their services.

The money MS makes from iPhone and Android users will fund Nokia to give us nicer phones. he he he

There is an Xbox 360 update that started tolling out yesterday to a limited group of users and 'everyone else next week' with many changes happening behind the scenes.
Maybe MS will release a new Xbox Companion for WP7 after the big update on the Xbox?
Here's hoping! :-D

Let them have their versions of the companion app. From what I saw of smartglass, this will just be a "look who's 2 steps behind again" situation.

Smartglass is going to be on all platforms, so no WP advantage there. Knowing MS, the WP version will probably be the worst and updated the least. Twats.

Im almost starting to regrett the fact that I have bought a windows phone, I really like it, but MS is neglecting it, and it feels like half of the things are still in beta. Also I have a feeling that MS prefers iPhone and android over their own system, but why the hell would they do that. If you make an OS for phone, you should not care about other phones, you guys focus to much on the others... Uncool MS, really uncool....

The reason for that is that WP and Entertainment (Xbox) are separate divisions. Look at it this way, MS is losing money on WP right now. Their profitable divisions like Entertainment subsidize our phones. Not to say that I like it but that is why. WP is not yet in a position for them to be using things like that as exclusives.

My sentiments exactly.  Did I regret the fact that I jump on the WP wagon at the very first hurdle in October 2010, no, but I'm one depressed WP user.  The development circle in my opinion is way way too slow.  The fact that I've to wait till may be October to get my hands on latest version of the OS, is unacceptable, that is why I'm now rocking a Galaxy S3.

In 7 days we get to see whats coming with WP8.  I wouldn't say they are neglecting the platform just because Microsoft doesn't alienate people who don't only buy their products (ala Apple).

Fiann: the divisions were merged like 2 years ago:

July 21, 2011

The Entertainment and Devices Division of Microsoft, which includes the Xbox 360, PC games, and Windows Phone, took in a profit of $32 million on top of revenues of $1.49 billion for the final quarter of the fiscal year quarter, alongside record revenues of $17.37 billion for the company as a whole for that period.

Microsoft reports that revenue for the Entertainment and Devices Division grew 30 percent for the fourth quarter 2011, and 45 percent for the full fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, with the increase in revenue primarily indicating money brought in from the Xbox 360 and its related products.

Then I stand corrected on that point. It doesn't change the fact that Xbox subsidizes WP though.

I have no problem with them making stuff like this for other platforms. They just really need to work to make sure our version is BETTER. That is what will get people to switch. Sort of like a game demo.

Problem is they are not making the WP version better, so WP loses its exclusive features while still lacking the features other platforms keep exclusive to themselves. Smart move by apple and google, MS still has its 2% marketshare and looks to be stuck there. Briliant strategy.

I don't quite under stand there logic on this matter but I do know I have shown many people my phone and what it can do and an overwhelming number of them like it a lot. I know ms want to play nice but nice is not going to gain them market share for there phones or soon to be tablet. Exclusive items such as smart glass and office will make many consumers look past the app difference and jump on wp8 and windows8 products but if people can get the same stuff on other platforms where is the draw for wp8 and window 8 tablets. Just my thought on it all.

So another of the few exclusives Windows Phone owners have just got put out on the street. That's why I laugh whenever Microsoft says they're exploring more exclusives for the platform. They don't even keep their own exclusive.

I think what xbox live for wp was made so we can play the same game in xbox on the go. We just need more titles supported

I still don't even have myself the Xbox Companion App because it's not available in my region, but I can download on my iPhone....seriously?.....

It seems that Microsoft is making their apps equal on any platform. At least give windows phone a little exclusivity straight from Microsoft themselves.

I think we need to remember that MS is primarily a software developer and that means they'll offer their products to everyone. I like the fact they're not like Apple or Google. Nor do I feel threatened by fanboys on either platform. I personally didn't choose WP because of exclusives. I'm here to stay because, quite simply, I love the OS. Bring on the hardware and wp8 and no WP owner will care what MS apps are shared to the competition. :)

MS should release Office for the ipad. Then sit back and watch Windows 8 flounder. Bet they wont, for the same reason they should keep certain features WP exclusive, to give it a USP. Lack of office hasn't hurt the ipad but you can see how it would affect Windows 8 sales if it was made available. Same concept here.

You guys already know Smart Glass is going to all platforms, Companion is just Smart Glass beta. There isn't really anything to be upset or surprised about.

The thing I dont understand is this..... I love my wp7, why do people keep going on about their 2% market share? Do you really want every Tom dick and harry having a wp7 device? MS said they are in it for the long haul, so regardless, who cares if it has little market share... Just enjoy a really unique experience with the phone.

2% is all the competition can hold onto as why you shouldn't get a WP. We just reached the 100,000 app mark and before that we were put down for lack of apps. Its funny how haters keep trying to put down WP. I downloaded W8 and let me tell you the ecosystem will make it really hard to say anything negative about what MS is putting together.

Thats the main reason I have a WP. Everybody has a fucking iPhone or Android device! I like to be different. I love rocking my Focus S, and have people stare at it. I Can't W8 for WP8.

So now we don't want people to have a WP??? Am I reading these comments correctly? The usual sentiment on here is that people need to wake up from being "iSheep" and "Fandroids" and see what WP is all about. So what exactly do we want for this platform going forward?

"...holds tight for Windows Phone"

Well, I guess we're kinda used to that sentiment from developers by now. lol.

But I have to say, the overall strategy, as I watch it unfold sounds real good to me. Microsoft is playing the long game and all we need to do is find the necessary patience to see it through.

This is still not available in all major markets. (-.-;;  Not available in Japan yet. It sucks to be excluded for this. 
Call me when Microsoft realizes the world is bigger than a handful of countries.

I can go both ways on this. The inclusion of other platforms can be a good PR strategy for MS and thereby pick up a few sales. However, I'm kinda bummed that it won't be exclusive. All in all though, I don't think it's too much of an issue for me. I'll still buy a tablet and continue with mu many Xbox game purchases along with WP.

Big Supes: you are right on target. Microsoft developed platforms and solutions for platforms.
Microsoft doesn't have to "win" in the smartphone business to succeed. Microsoft succeeds by creating solid platforms, tools and services.
They have to have a strong smartphone platform for when the shoe drops on either Android or iOS. Then they can move to the front of the pack.
And for everyone talking about the new iOS and Android Xbox app - I'm pretty sure that the latest iOS 1.5 app version only brought to up to the features we have already had with our Xbox Companion. I can't seem to pick out any features they have that we don't already have - just sayin.

If I had to name ONE PROBLEM with Windows Phone is that it's "too easy to use."
Heck, my 79yo Mother does more on her Lumia 900 (her first smartphone) than friends my own age or younger.
I think the geeks think that because it's easy to use it's not powerful - one word, wrong.

I personally dont know any gamers who care enough about the Live integration to either download this app for their respective OS or even switch to WP for it. I can't count how many times I've shown it off and the reaction is "It's cool. And?" As for the Companion app, its fun for the first few hours and then its back to just using my controller to get stuff done

This is a good move. Windows Phone doesn't need an exlusive xbox app to sell, it can stand on its own with its most unique exclusive - the metro experience. This might actually entice iOS and Android users to switch to WP to get the "full" experiance. Even if MS made it exclusive for WP, how many people will switch phones just for this? The entire Xbox userbase is at 60+ million which is quite small compared to the mobile user base.