By Alexandra Burlacu | Apr 23, 2013 10:00 AM EDT
Kindle Fire tablet owners can now use their slates to extend their entertainment experiences, using the Xbox 360 console in the living room via SmartGlass.
An Xbox SmartGlass app for Android is not much of a surprise, but the fact that Kindle Fire users can now download the app is. Kindle Fire users can normally download apps only from the Amazon App Store, which makes this instance quite intriguing. However, Xbox SmartGlass is only available for those who own Amazon's second-generation Kindle Fire HD slates. The Xbox SmartGlass app is not available for users of the first-generation Kindle Fire devices.
For those unfamiliar with the application, Xbox SmartGlass is Microsoft's solution for turning a device users might own into a companion for its Xbox 360 console. According to Nielson media group studies, increasing numbers of users watch television with a smartphone, computer or tablet in their hands. Nielsen says such viewers use devices, be it a smartphone or a tablet, to tweet about or find more information on the programs they are watching.
Microsoft announced its Xbox SmartGlass App during its E3 2012 Briefing and the app was widely seen as Microsoft's way of appealing to potential Nintendo Wii U buyers. With Xbox SmartGlass, users can get the latest updates on a game they might be playing, or read a short biography on an actor in a movie they're watching.
The Xbox SmartGlass app can also serve as a remote for any Xbox console it's connected to. SmartGlass allows users to control playback or browse Microsoft's entertainment offerings. The app is also particularly useful for those who want to use Internet Explorer for Xbox, as it allows users to navigate websites using an onscreen keyboard on their mobile device instead of using the console's onscreen keyboard with a controller.
The Xbox SmartGlass app proved to be very popular among consumers, and last month it received an update to add compatibility with more Android devices. The application is currently available for users on Windows 8, Windows Phone and iOS as well. Things seem to be changing for the better now, with Amazon's rollout of Xbox SmartGlass for Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD tablet users. Amazon pledged to sell "millions" of each device, and that claim now translates into a potentially wider audience for the Xbox SmartGlass app.
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