Microsoft Wants to Expand Xbox Live Capabilties on iOS and Android 'In a Big Way'

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Microsoft has been aiming to entrench its popular Xbox Live service into both the iOS and Android ecosystems for several years, having introduced its first Xbox-compatible app SmartGlass in 2011, along with a few other iOS and Xbox hybrid apps.

    SmartGlass, which is also available for the Xbox One, is designed to be a companion app that allows gamers to access and control their Xbox game consoles to browse content and track achievements. The SmartGlass app also allows an iOS device to be used as a remote control and a keyboard for the system.

    Microsoft may be aiming to expand Xbox Live on iOS even further, according to a new report from The Verge, which suggests the company wants to poise Xbox Live as an optional replacement for Game Center.
    Back in December of 2012, Microsoft experimented with an iOS game that provided gamers with Xbox Live achievements for reaching in-game milestones. The company plans to expand on this concept, making it easier for iOS and Android developers to incorporate Microsoft's framework into games on their respective platforms.

    Microsoft already offers tools that allow Xbox Live functionality to be integrated into games, but to access them developers are required to be certified through Microsoft, which is a significant barrier to entry.

    According to job listings found by The Verge, Microsoft is currently assembling a team that will create an "open-source, lightweight, extensible and scalable" framework that spans multiple platforms including the Windows Store, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android. Such a system, with fewer restrictions, could make it easier to integrate Xbox Live into apps and games.

    Apple and Google both have proprietary game progress tracking in the form of Game Center and Google Play Games, but Microsoft appears to be aiming to get Xbox Live on all platforms, leading to a unified achievement system that would work with multiple systems.

    Article Link: Microsoft Wants to Expand Xbox Live Capabilties on iOS and Android 'In a Big Way'
  2. Deadeyeshark, Mar 3, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014

    macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2011
    Cool! Smart glass does feel limited at present. Any improvements would be very welcome, I doubt we will see it, but mirroring a game on your iPad with a bluetooth controller would be awesome.

    That said the Xbox One is missing many features that are readily available on the 360 - I'd like to see Microsoft get the Xbox One's house in order before they start faffing around anything ancillary to the system.
  3. macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2011
    But...but...but.... this is MICROSOFT we're talking about here... they can't *possibly* do anything GOOD, right? Right?!! Guys....???? right...?
  4. macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2003
    Fletcher, NC
    "...because we know nobody uses our mobile devices."

  5. macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2012
  6. macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2013
  7. macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

    Dec 15, 2013
    I'm sure the app will only take a day for them to develop. They just don't care about quality.
  8. macrumors 68000

    Oct 31, 2005
    Potential Partners Again?

    Perhaps Apple and Microsoft could become partners like in the good old days before Windows. Back then, Microsoft made great software for the Mac and Apple made great hardware. Then Microsoft screwed Apple out to their GUI on a legal technicality to create Windows, and the two haven't played well with each other since. If they started working with each other again, they could own the world.
  9. macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2009
    Using an iPad for Smart Glass is pretty awesome - now make it awesomer!!11!
  10. macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2012
    Here we go - an Microsoft app which has cut capabilities compared to surface and android to allow Microsoft to take another bash at apple in those ads
  11. macrumors 6502


    Jan 15, 2013

    If they do this right I will be a happy camper. I currently operate in all three environments (MS, Android, and iOS). Cross platform integration and expanded capability? That is a win for me.
  12. macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    Well.. up until the Xbox 360 I might have agreed with you. And since the Xbox One, I agree with you again. :p
  13. macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2012
    Actually the SmartGlass app on iOS is pretty good. The UI is nice and it never fails to work as advertised. I can check achievements, use my iPad or iPhone as a keyboard, or even as a controller (which worked great when my son had several friends over recently and we were short a few controllers).
  14. macrumors 6502


    Sep 4, 2012
    Saint Louis, MO, USA
    This is why I love Microsoft more than Apple (when it comes to services, calm down). Microsoft will do everything possible to get things like OneDrive, XBL, and Office onto Apple devices, but will Apple do the same with their counterparts? No. They're way too proud to even think about going down that road.
  15. macrumors 68030

    Feb 17, 2009
  16. macrumors 65816

    Spectrum Abuser

    Aug 27, 2011
    Those screenshots look like the UI for iPhone OS 3.1X and lower. The cellular bars changed in iOS 4. I suppose my old iPhone 3G should be able to use Smart Glass. :cool:
  17. macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2012
    I beg to differ, but I use for Pages, Numbers, and Keynote quite often...on IE...on a PC. Apple is heading down that same road, but much more slowly. And I'd agree that they will never go all the way to the end of that road.
  18. macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2011
    And Apple is better?

    Apple ain't exactly been the poster child for software quality these days. You might want to review some the the stories posted on this site over the last few months before you start calling the kettle black.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Xbox One and Xbox 360 smart glass is a great app, but it is very limited. Even with my Xbox One on and running, I can't necessarily view achievements other features in the app. Microsoft just needs to add some behind the scenes features to improve the overall appearance.
  20. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 24, 2013
    Midwest, US
    Even a blind squirel gathers a nut once in a while. :D
  21. macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    As someone well vested in the Apple ecosystem and also loves Xbox, this is great to hear! The SmartGlass app for the One is pretty good, but it could certainly improve.

    Here're some improvements/features I'd like to see, off the top of my head in no specific order:
    • Be able to buy games from SmartGlass and have your One automatically install them (inclusive of live-updated progress bar)
    • Be able to turn my One on and off via SmartGlass
    • Incorporate the One guide into SmartGlass
    • Turn the iPad into a mobile screen in which you can game from (remote play similar to PS4/Vita)
    • Make the One AirPlay compatible so you can stream things from your iOS device (this is not particularly exclusive to SmartGlass)
  22. macrumors 68020

    May 20, 2011
    That's bc MS is a software company and Apple is a hardware company in its roots.

    Apple likes a closed eco system with full control and it works great. Look how far they've come.

    Now go to a MS store with your Dell PC. They'll look at it and say, oh, you need to contact Dell -its probably a driver issue.
  23. macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    Oh boy, I can't wait for Microsoft to copy someone else's free service but charge a subscription fee for it. Can you imagine? It'll be just like Game Center, but cost $20/year for no apparent reason! How exciting - the possibilities are limitless.

    Just like they've done with every other internet service they've ever made. (That's why I will never buy an Xbox: although it has a counterpart for every PlayStation feature, the features are free on PlayStation but have subscription fees on Xbox.)
  24. macrumors 6502


    Oct 20, 2011
    Kansas City
  25. macrumors 68020

    May 20, 2011
    Agreed - this will make the xbox one much cooler!


    You do realize Xbox One Live is a subscription service that costs $59.99/yr

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