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Gaming

Xbox SmartGlass on Android and iOS early next year

Microsoft's SmartGlass tech, which lets you control your console using a smart phone or tablet, will arrive after Christmas.

Microsoft's SmartGlass, which lets you control your Xbox 360 console using a smart phone, will debut on Android and iOS devices early next year.

Speaking to Pocket-Lint, the software giant confirmed that its multi-platform answer to the Wii U won't be landing on Apple and Android mobiles until after Christmas.

You may get to experience SmartGlass before then however, because the screen-sharing tech is going to be available on Windows 8 gadgets from launch. That means Windows 8 computers, Windows Phone 8 smart phones and Windows RT tablets like Microsoft Surface will have SmartGlass months ahead of rival platforms.

SmartGlass lets you do things like control movie playback on Xbox using your mobile, or fire your tablet's browsing session onto your TV. If you're hankering to see more features, I've embedded a fairly annoying promotional video below.

SmartGlass will act as a companion gadget when you're playing certain games too -- I'm hoping to see plenty of supported titles, as playing games is still the reason most people own an Xbox in the first place.

By holding SmartGlass back from Android and iOS, Microsoft will be hoping to persuade more shoppers to take a chance on its new Windows 8 devices. I wouldn't be surprised to see Apple and Google-powered phones and tablets losing out on features either, when SmartGlass eventually arrives on these platforms in 2013.

I've reached out to Microsoft for more information, and I'll let you know if I hear anything. The PowerPoint-pushing firm's behaviour is forming a pattern, as new streaming service Xbox Music also won't be on iOS and Android until next year.

Are you interested in SmartGlass? Will it become the Xbox's killer feature, or fail to take off? Tell me in the comments or on our Facebook wall.