Microsoft is launching this week Xbox SmartGlass, its bid to better connect the company’s phones, tablets and PCs to the entertainment content offered through its Xbox console and Xbox Live service.
SmartGlass, which the company announced in June, attempts to create a more unified entertainment experience. Through the SmartGlass app — which will be available on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices and also Apple and Google devices — users can stream and synchronize their Xbox online services including movies, TV shows, music and games.
Users can, for instance, start watching a movie on a tablet, then finish watching it on TV while getting additional information about the movie on their tablet. The tablet or phone can also act as a remote control for the entertainment content on the TV, or act as a smart “second screen,” displaying information about the content.
The rollout of SmartGlass means Microsoft “will rapidly accelerate the reach of Xbox entertainment from more than 67 million consoles to literally hundreds of millions of devices worldwide,” wrote Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s chief marketing officer for its Interactive Entertainment Division, in an official blog post. “Also this week, we will take our biggest step ever to increase our global reach, extending Xbox entertainment experiences to 222 countries from 35.”