Given that mobile phones and tablets have become essential devices for many, it makes sense that they are integral to the next generation of gaming.
This is where SmartGlass comes in – Microsoft's superb app that offers oodles of second screen functionality that will enhance your Xbox One gaming experience. This is because the bods at Microsoft created the Xbox One with SmartGlass firmly in mind.
A SmartGlass app has been available for some time now for free for Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Phone, iOS and Android operating systems, and has been intelligently interacting with select games for the Xbox 360.
Article continues below
With the release of the Xbox One, this technology has raised its game, with a new separate app created that will offer second screen interaction that takes your gaming beyond the television.
Here's what you need to know…
There's a reason it's called SmartGlass
Within seconds of switching on SmartGlass it will recognise your Xbox One and be ready for action. The app works 3.5 times faster than it currently does on the Xbox 360, offering speedy syncing to your next-gen console.
Once synced it will allow you to control the Xbox One with a mobile device. From SmartGlass, you can easily browse the web on your console and do things like turning up the volume on your TV, selecting a video, a song or album or game to play.
But it's far more than just a glorified remote control app – SmartGlass will also take tasks away from your television so that your gaming is never compromised.
It enhances the multiplayer experience
An example of this is with the multiplayer experience. With SmartGlass, gone are the days when you have to pause a game to find a multiplayer session. Now you can continue playing and look for a multiplayer match straight from the SmartGlass app, so your gaming suffers no needless interruptions.
And if that wasn't all, you can have a whopping 16 SmartGlass apps connected to the Xbox One at any time – that's four times the people that the Xbox 360 currently allows.
This is great if, say, you organise an MMPORG session in your home as everyone can have a SmartGlass companion working with a game. It's things like this that have made game developers so excited to work with the Xbox One's fantastic gaming technology.
And that leads us on to the games…
As the new SmartGlass app has been made with Xbox One in mind, many AAA games will take full advantage of the service.
Dead Rising 3 and Project Spark are two games that have already been confirmed to use SmartGlass. Use the app with these games and you will find that your mobile device will essentially become an extension of these gaming worlds. SmartGlass will turn your phone into the phone that is used in the game.
Switch the app on while playing Dead Rising 3 and you will get exclusive missions and special awards. You will be able to use SmartGlass in an intelligent way to help with your game playing – so if you're stuck battling zombies and find yourself with no way out, you can call on an airstrike through SmartGlass.
By no means will you need Smartglass to complete a game, but it will enhance a game no end if you do use it.
SmartGlass lends a helping hand, too
If you are stuck at any time in a game that uses SmartGlass then the app can help you get out of your predicament.
Found in the companion app is a Help button. Press this at any time and it will offer up essential tips. And you won't need to rifle through endless either, as the app is contextually aware – so you'll only get tips for the bit of the game that you are in.
If you want to call on your friends to help, instead of getting tips, then you can do that too. The app allows you to send and receive messages from your Xbox Live friends and also compare achievements and challenges.
The SmartGlass revolution will also be televised
SmartGlass can also take advantage of the Xbox One's ability to have a DVR plugged into it. Whether you are watching satellite or traditional TV through the Xbox One, you will be able to use SmartGlass to navigate the OneGuide – where you can see what's on television – and also change the channel.
In short: SmartGlass is the ultimate companion app – whether gaming, watching TV or online socialising, it's the essential app for you and your Xbox One.