Xbox Companion App Turns WP7 Into Xbox Remote

Once Microsoft revealed its content lineup for Xbox TV, the Windows Phone team Wednesday followed up with a reveal of the Xbox Companion App, a free application for the Windows Phone platform that essentially turns any Windows Phone-based smartphone into an Xbox 360 remote.

So far there's no projected release date, but Microsoft PC Evangelist Ben Rudolph breaks the app down into three main features in a recent hands-on trial: find content, learn about content, and control content.

Rudolph claims that finding content is similar to the actual Xbox 360 experience, as users have instant access to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace catalog of games, movies, music and TV shows. Rudolph said that he used the app to search "Featured Content" and then pulled up the awesomely cool "X-Men: first Class" movie.

"Once I found the movie and touched the movie tile, the Xbox Companion app took me to an info page that has all the related details about," he said. "And the content is really rich, too – for example, when I swiped to the 'cast' page and touched an actor’s name, like star James McAvoy, I was taken to other movies starring him. From there, I could easily learn more about the other movies, their cast, etc. It’s an infinite road of interactive content."

Once he selected the actual X-Men movie and hit play, the app switched into "controller mode" and allowed him to navigate the Xbox 360, or control video playback. "The best part here is that controls are virtually instantaneous – easily as fast as using my controller or a TV remote," he added.

Rudolph concluded his hands-on blog stating that the app would arrive "soon" although it will likely be released around the same time Xbox TV and the new dashboard is launched.

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more. 

  • ThisIsMe
    Free value added features and content upgrades/updates are always welcome.
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    So, the inferior gaming/multimedia device just got allegedly easier to control... I think that BT-based overclocking app is way cooler :)
  • CKKwan
    A move to kill Wii-U?
  • feeddagoat
    I'm sure someone will port or do this on android to. Great feature but still not enough to convince me WP7 is better.
  • zaho0006
    Would be nice if they could do it so it works with WMC PCs and extenders as well
  • firekraker
    It's not that WP7 is better.The question is; Is WP7 for you? For example. I'm not a power user on a phone and don't need mad customization options. I enjoy Zune and XBOX services. I also tie in my work and personal emails, calendar, and contacts. I can easily filter all three into groups such as work and friends. Apps. are coming everyday while big names are showing up all the time.

    As you can see I have full use for my WP7 phone therefore it is the phone for me. Now if they could only get Spore for EA on there I would be set. :)
  • WP7 does not even have Pandora let alone much developer backing.
  • How will someone "Port" this to Andriod or Iphone? Both WP7 and Xbox is owned by that 4 letter word you so hate (MSFT).

    Wouldn't hold your breath, meanwhile I'll have the ATLAS app for Halo.. Frag ya soon!