Microsoft has confirmed new details for the new Xbox One SmartGlass companion app.
SmartGlass is a companion app that connects with Xbox consoles via smartphones or tablet devices. Xbox Live General Manager Ron Pessner has confirmed that Xbox One will receive an all-new SmartGlass app separate from the existing Xbox 360 app, which will be released 'this holiday' for Windows Phone 8, iOS and Android devices.
Pessner says SmartGlass' native connection to Xbox One will make for a much improved experience. "Xbox One was designed from the ground up with SmartGlass in mind, and an immediately noticeable difference with Xbox One SmartGlass compared to Xbox 360 SmartGlass is the connection speed and performance," he said.
"On average it only takes about four seconds for SmartGlass to recognize your Xbox One and create an instant connection," claimed Pessner, noting it to be "about three-and-a-half times faster on Xbox One than its Xbox 360" counterpart. Xbox One will also be capable of connecting to up to 16 SmartGlass devices simultaneously.
SmartGlass will also be far more useful than before. Gamers will be able to use SmartGlass for matchmaking on Xbox One, which Pessner called a "core feature" of the companion app. "If you're in the middle of game on your console, you can begin matchmaking for a multiplayer session through SmartGlass and you won't interrupt your action on the big screen," he described.
For games that support the feature, the app will also contain a dynamic players guide mechanic. "If you're having trouble in a game, you can tap a Help button in SmartGlass that will give you contextually aware information for whatever you're playing," said Pessner.
"We're working closely with developers today to add game help to individual Xbox One titles. This is done by game creators making a help manual that we then host in SmartGlass. During gameplay, SmartGlass follows your progress and knows exactly where you're at and where you're having trouble, so that when you hit the Help button you'll be given the tips you need."
Users will also have access to the entire Xbox Games Store within SmartGlass, or remotely control your console to more easily "navigate the web, turn up the volume on your TV, and select a video, music or game to play," Pessner explained.