Microsoft just might be finally getting into the smartphone market and today they announced a cool app that will help you control your Xbox right from your phone. The Xbox Companion app will help you control your Xbox and interact with some games, plus the app will let you search video and audio content that you’d like to watch via your Microsoft Xbox 360 console. Once you have searched for something to listen to or watch, your smartphone will then turn into the remote control allowing you access to features that let you play, fast forward and pause the content.
The app is sort of neat and maybe an easy way for Microsoft to test out the app development side of their new smartphones, but the app will not be doing much more than you can do with your original remote control. Not that an update couldn’t add more features in the future, but the app in its original form is not all that impressive according to what can be found online. Once the app is able to control the Xbox the possibilities are endless, but it might take some digging around in the technology department to come up with something creative.
The app was revealed at Nokia World 2011 this year and watching some of the demo videos the app looks pretty neat. The app is tied with Bing for the search feature which isn’t a real surprise. Windows Phone powered smartphones have been able to interact with Xbox Live online since the first one launched, but the functions are quite limited. A gamer can play games on the smartphone through Xbox Live and gain achievements and add to their gamer score at the same time, but that is about it.
Games like “Full House Poker” and “Fable Coin Golf” are a couple of games that you can play on your WP7 powered smartphone and by playing them you can impact the Xbox 360 versions of the games. Watching a video online about how the WP7 smartphone can be used to control the Xbox Kinect system certainly gives you the idea that the app can really be updated to add some really nice functionality. A user will be able to transfer information from the phone, to the Xbox console and back in order to keep up with what is happening on certain Kinect games.