updated 03:45 pm EST, Wed December 7, 2011
Microsoft tries Xbox app for iPad, iPhone
Microsoft bucked expectations Wednesday by releasing an official My Xbox Live app for iOS (free, App Store). The app lets iPad, iPhone, and iPod users handle most of what they can do outside of gameplay and the Game Marketplace. It touts messaging, managing the friends list, comparing profiles and achievements, and customizing the avatar, as well as newer features like game Beacons.
The interface is conspicuously designed to resemble that from the built-in Windows Phone app and from the updated Xbox 360 Dashboard. iPad owners get a fully optimized layout that helps show more at once.
Simultaneous, Microsoft has also formally launched Xbox Companion on Windows Phone hardware. The free app is an enhanced remote for browsing content and playing it directly from the Xbox. It needs Windows Phone 7.5 and an Xbox Live account to work.