Xbox One SmartGlass looks awesome. Analysis
We already know that the SmartGlass app will be more powerful at the time of the Xbox One launch, but until yesterday we didn't know much about the new interface and tools. Fortunately, Engadget got a hands on with the new app and we can glean a few details from the below video.<!--more-->
The new interface seems to mirror the dashboard of the Xbox One almost identically. The background is the deep black color and there are sections for grid icons wide with a large 4x2 tile. As you can see from the below images, the two interfaces are fairly similar in terms of spacing and iconography. The SmartGlass dashboard may in fact mirror the Xbox One dashboard. The Engadget demo backs this up as the SmartGlass app has two sections on the home page "Recent" and "Featured" which is almost identical to the layout in demos of the Xbox One dashboard with "Recent" and "Recommended". This simplistic mirrored approach is a great idea as the current SmartGlass app is rather confusing to navigate.
As the demonstrator scrolls to the left, we get another clue. The sections are labeled "My Pins" with an ellipsis menu feature at the bottom right corner of the pins which is again, identical to the menu system on the Xbox One. On the right side of the grid is a 2x4 tile grid with applications like People, My Collections, Achievements, and Program Guide.
When the demonstrator taps on the tile for Ryse the game doesn't launch on tablet but a companion style app comes up with Achievements progress, access to downloadable content, specific time based game challenges, and achievements from your friends. There are also game clips saved by yourself or shared by your friends that can be viewed right on your tablet.
I'm inclined to believe that every single tile on the Xbox One will have a mirrored icon on the grid of the SmartGlass app along with a companion app with context specific controls and information. That sounds awesome. Additionally, persistently present at the bottom of the app is a bar telling you what application or game is currently running on the Xbox. Tapping the icon for this app should take you to the context aware companion.
Also in that bar are volume controls, and a remote. At the top right, there's a persistent search button and another unknown icon that could hopefully be the screen mirroring function. Other than the features seen in this video, sources have said that the SmartGlass app is dramatically faster and it connects nearly immediately to the Xbox One. This is great as the SmartGlass app takes several seconds to pair with the Xbox 360 currently.
This post is also live at WinRTSource.com which you can feel free to check out and comment on here: http://wp.me/p3kean-yO
Please let us know what you think. Have you heard any other news or seen any other demos of the SmartGlass app for Xbox One?