Skip to main content

Microsoft turns SmartGlass into a universal remote as Xbox TV expands worldwide

Microsoft turns SmartGlass into a universal remote as Xbox TV expands worldwide


New features now available in beta app

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Microsoft is previewing a new SmartGlass app today. It’s a significant upgrade from the existing app, with Microsoft's TV guide functionality (OneGuide) integrated into the app and the ability to control a TV or set-top box with its DVR functionality from a smartphone or tablet. While SmartGlass already had some options to control TV volume, it's now effectively a universal remote. The new SmartGlass app also includes a new feature that shows recently-watched channels to make it easy to switch between them.

Alongside the SmartGlass updates, Xbox One owners can now test the TV integration features of the console. OneGuide has been available in the US since launch, but the company had not yet started rolling it out elsewhere. That's now changed: a worldwide beta test means that Xbox One users can control their TVs and set-top boxes using mobile devices, after selected Xbox One preview members in the UK, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany were given early access to the new features. Microsoft is soliciting feedback on the integration, and it plans to tweak the OneGuide functionality over the coming months during the preview phase.

The OneGuide functionality also includes voice commands in Europe and Canada to control set-top boxes connected via the HDMI-in port. All of the updates enter preview today, and are expected to roll out to all Xbox One owners later this year.

Update April 2nd, 1:00AM: An Xbox One SmartGlass beta featuring OneGuide functionality is now available worldwide from the Windows 8 app store, the Windows Phone store, and Google Play.