Entertainment app has been tweaked for multi-tasking with Xbox One

Xbox SmartGlass downloaded over 17m times

Microsoft’s touch screen entertainment app, Xbox SmartGlass, has now been downloaded over 17 million times since its launch in October 2012.

Microsoft principal program manager Rosa Thomas shared the news about the companion app during the presentation at the tech giant’s Build 2013 conference in San Francisco.

Those downloads occurred across Windows 8, Windows Phone, Android and Apple devices.

Further details one how SmartGlass will interface with Xbox One were also shared.

One key change is that Xbox One will not auto-launch companion content for what’s currently on the user’s main screen.

“[The users] like the control. We have so many things we want them to see and do. We didn’t want to presume what the user wants to do,” said Thomas.

This move support’s Microsoft’s direction in making Xbox One and the services the firm has built around it more fit for multi-tasking.

According to Thomas, Xbox One will support up to 16 SmartGlass connections on a single unit, as well as reading local hardware inputs in touch devices, such as accelerometers and touch.

The updated SmartGlass has been tweaked to be more multifunctional and will resemble more of a Windows 8-powered tablet when its launches.

A new Help feature has been added to SmartGlass, and Thomas stated that all Xbox One developers will be required to have some content for the Help function built-in to their games. SmartGlass experiences so far range from filterable maps in Forza Horizon, flicking through song lists, or clips and chapter selection on films.

Streaming game content to SmartGlass devices will be allowed, but only for exclusive SmartGlass apps. Thomas went on to stress that it is not intended for remote play.

The mooted Xbox One-to-Windows connectivity was also played up by Thomas. Connectivity between the two will enable users to load up content on Xbox One via the device’s charm in Windows 8.1.

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