Xbox SmartGlass: any questions?

Microsoft's second-screen application is out on Android, iOS and Windows — but what's it actually like?

Microsoft's second-screen application is out on Android, iOS and Windows, but what's it actually like?
She's dead, Jim. (Screenshot by CNET Australia)

Xbox Smartglass stands a good chance of being a real game changer. It's a free app that lets you control your Xbox via a smartphone or tablet. We've written a bit about it before, and we recommend you check out the video to get a good sense of what SmartGlass should do:

So naturally, we were excited — that's some hefty and useful functionality for an app that's free. There's just been one problem: we can't make it work.

Actually, to be clear, there are a couple of functions that we can't make work: the on-screen keyboard and the browser. The controller that lets you tool around your Xbox dashboard — that works perfectly. But the really cool features, including the "play here" option that lets you take stuff from the Xbox to a tablet? Not at all.

(Screenshot by CNET Australia)

We've tried on a Samsung Galaxy S3, an Apple iPad 3 and a Samsung Windows 8 tablet. We tried a Nexus 7, but that's not compatible with SmartGlass it seems. We've also tried two different Xboxes and three different wireless networks.

In every case, the browser and keyboard options are greyed out and cannot be selected.

The only hint we've had from the app about what might be wrong is the following error message:

(Screenshot by CNET Australia)

The problem is that the two times we've had this message, we have definitely been on the same wireless network for both the Xbox and the mobile device. It has left us confused.

We've spoken to Microsoft about these issues, and they've been kind enough to invite us out to their HQ next Tuesday to have a chat and see if we can get to the bottom of this. So has anyone else been having any problems? And if so — are there any questions you'd like us to ask Microsoft?

 

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