The My Xbox LIVE app for the iPhone has been updated to allow users to directly control their Xbox 360 using a new remote control interface. You can now navigate the dashboard, load games and control videos using your iPhone (iOS 4.3 or later). Unfortunately these features have not been shared with the iPad version, although that has seen updates to its retina display support and the way in which it handles account authentication.
I played around with the application earlier today and although it was nifty to see the console react to my phone, I can’t think of a situation in which I’d use this method instead of a controller. More details after the break.
It’s nice and easy to connect the application to your console. If you haven’t downloaded it in the past, you can do so for free via the App Store and then it’s a case of opening up the settings on your Xbox 360 and setting the Xbox Companion option to “Available.”
Sign in to your account and you can go straight to the quickplay tab and view your recently played games and video applications, which you can then launch remotely if you wish. You may find yourself opening Netflix in this fashion if you don’t want to get up and fetch the controller, but you’re more likely to have forgotten that you can even do such a thing, because of how rarely you’ll feel the need to use this app.
Once you’ve launched Netflix (other video applications are available) you can navigate the menu using the My Xbox LIVE app as a remote and then play, pause, rewind or fast forward whatever you choose to watch. There is a noticeable delay here (about half a second) and so once again if you’re controller is within arms reach, you’ll want to use that instead.
I wonder if Xbox Smartglass will have a similar delay problem? That could prove to be an issue for any extensive game interaction.
The My Xbox LIVE app is now also available for Android phones, although without the new remote control features.