Like many of you out there, I own and l play and love my xbox 360. So much so that I had wished, I’d pined, I’d yearned for an xbox live app on my android phone. Well earlier this year I got my wish. A bit late behind the windows phone and iOS versions but I digress. The idea is that the apps run across all the platforms now. Big news for xbox gamers. While all three major OS’s here have different apps to help your xbox experience stretch a little further, they all hold varied degrees of integration and features. Most notably I will say is of course the version for windows phone as it has the has the best support and control for your xbox 360 console. You will find that it is divided into three parts, the games hub, and two other applications called the xbox live extras and the xbox live companion app. Between all of these you will be able to do a number of things from edit your avatar, outfit it with new gear from the marketplace and even control your xbox remotely from the phone. It doesn’t stop there though, xbox live on windows phone also supports messaging your friends, seeing your friends list of course, and an achievement system for many of the xbox arcade games that line the windows market place. All in all pretty full featured.
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On iOS there isn’t nearly as many features as on windows but you still get plenty of the features that one might want to have like the friends list, messaging, editing the avatar and xbox live remote functionality. You can see that the list of features when compared to the windows devices is certainly quite diminishing. Apparently the iphone version has problems connecting but when it does you can still use it as a remote for your console.
Finally, Android. The preferred OS here at android headlines. As you might have guessed. Or what I like to refer to it as the bottom of the barrel when we’re talking about the xbox live apps. Now I love my xbox, love the gaming platform, love the online experience, and I really love the new dashboard they put out last fall. However, the xbox live experience on android is GARBAGE!!! Period! I was extremely excited to see this application setup come to android. I had been waiting months and months after seeing it drop for iOS and thought, “wheres the love Microsoft?” well I’ll tell you where it is. Nowhere. It seems that, to Microsoft, the functionality of the xbox apps is like the love a parent gives its child. It really loves windows phone. We get it, its your own baby. It’s understandable. Then comes iOS. Or as I see it, the unplanned child, it still belongs to you and bares your bloodline so you still give it some love. Even if you’re unprepared for it at first, you’re still obligated. Then, comes Android. The child that was left with you because all other foreseeable guardians have died and or disappeared off the face of the earth. You don’t know how you ended up with it, but you don’t like it, and you want a refund. Android is likes microsofts child they never wanted. They give us an app that supposedly has xbox integration, all I see is the complete disdain they have for android and its users.
With lack of features like controlling the xbox, and a marketplace for your avatar and search functionality, I hardly see this as a worthy companion to my user experience on Xbox. Sure you can message your friends, and see your friends list. You can see your achievements, and You can edit your avatar with what you already own as accessories or outfits. No remote control, not avatar marketplace, no game linked achievements. No search. Not only is it lacking in features, but when I personally used the app, it was slow, beyond slow, and had trouble connecting and often times would just time out and not connect to the app dashboard at all. Hopefully we can all look forward to seeing some updates come down the pipeline that enhance the otherwise currently dismal experience we see before us now. Microsoft plans to update the Xbox dashboard itself with some new features like smart-glass, and a voice enabled web search later on this year so maybe we can expect to see some newer and more feature rich functions come to Android at that time. Until then, my advice is try out the app but don’t expect too much. How about you guys out there? Are you already using the Xbox live app on your android device? Do you love it or hate it?