The wishes of Android console gamers worldwide were answered on June 13th, 2012 when Microsoft Announced that they were releasing a version of their much acclaimed mobile app to Android (2.2+) devices. Hot on the heels of the Microsoft announcement regarding “Smart Glass”, Microsoft made both updates to their iOS app, and released a similar (albeit lacking in a few features) Android app. How does the Android version stack up against its competition? How is the app in general? The Gadget Gurus puts the app through the ringer to give you the answers!
What is My Xbox Live?
My Xbox Live is Microsoft’s mobile gateway into its Xbox Live service. Users of Microsoft’s Xbox console are already familiar with many of the social features as well as their achievement system and Microsoft Avatars. What My Xbox Live aims to do is provide many of the key functionalities of the console experience to the user on the go. Whether it be Avatar editing, messaging or accessing games and achievement info, My Xbox Live provides access to most of the features that exist outside of the core “Game” play.
Staying In Touch, And Showing Off
It’s obvious from the moment you open the app that Microsoft is really jumping into their campaign to make the Xbox Experience more than just a place for people to play games. Microsoft has built into its app all of the components of the console experience that take gaming above and beyond the call of duty (sorry…). Users have the ability to view their own avatar, as well as make edits to it, and save them to their profile, where it can then be accessed from a console. The avatar viewing and editing works surprisingly well. Movement of the avatar and guidance through the menus is very fluid and intuitive. The app features are insanely polished, and using the app actually makes me wish my friends list was a bit more active. From the perspective of someone who might use Xbox on a daily basis as a means of more than just gaming, the features built into this app are very useful and, in fact, should be preferred to using them on the console. There’s nothing more painstaking than sending someone a message from the Xbox console, and having the ability to use something like Swype to send messages makes this app great.
The achievement and game information sections really help to round out this app and make it something that a “gamer” would want to use to stay in touch with friends as well as the gaming community as a whole. It is a bit disappointing that this version lacks the newest features offered in the iOS version, but as this app appears to be a near-direct port of the iOS version, one would have to assume that those features will be arriving sooner, rather than later. Microsoft’s “Smart Glass” is going to prove to be very interesting, and this app is just a glimpse into what the future holds. The app is polished and looks really great and, except for a bit of a learning curve with navigation (icons, rather than labels), has very few flaws.
Guru Review Score:
Ease of Use: 8/10; With most of the app consisting of only buttons, instead of labels, navigation has a bit of a learning curve.
Graphics/Design 9/10 (Again, the choice of icons over labels presents initial issues)