By Jonathan Charles | Oct 18, 2012 08:19 AM EDT
Microsoft's announcement of Xbox Music coincided with the release of the latest Xbox Live dashboard update, releasing Oct. 16. SmartGlass will arrive alongside Windows 8, which releases Oct. 26.
Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb confirmed the news at his official blog.
"What about Xbox SmartGlass? That's coming too, but not until Windows 8 launches on October 26th. When the Xbox SmartGlass app launches on tablets, PCs and smartphones, it will include key foundational experiences for interacting with your Xbox 360, such as dashboard and app navigation and Internet Explorer control, like text input, scrolling and pinch and zoom," said Hryb .
Microsoft revealed SmartGlass at E3 2012 (video below), pitched as an app to bring added context to content or provides gameplay functions like directing a play in NFL. For example, during an episode of Game of Thrones, a map displayed the characters' locations. Campaign footage of Halo 4 revealed the ability to identify objects in the environment.
The SmartGlass release date came alongside a breakdown of features for the aforementioned dashboard update. Along with refining the Modern UI-esque user interface introduced in 2011, new features include Internet Explorer 10, the ability to pin content to the dashboard's home screen, and a Recent tab to show content used. The update means that the number of button presses to access popular services is reduced, a complaint against the previous iteration.
The service is drawing comparisons to Wii U's GamePad, the controller incorporating a second screen alongside televisions. The demo at E3 was a concept, so using the device in practice may be interesting. Wii U launches Nov. 18 in the U.S., nearly a month after SmartGlass. It seems, Microsoft wants to lessen the impact of the first next-generation console.
Major Nelson also confirmed Xbox Music, Microsoft's all-in-one music service, launches Oct. 16. The aim is to bring competitors like iTunes and Spotify under one umbrella, Microsoft explained in a statement. The service replaces Zune, though customers will transition to Xbox Music.
SmartGlass will be free to download across iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices.
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