Version Reviewed: 1.2.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S & iPad 2
iPhone Integration Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use Value Rating:
It has taken much, much longer than it really should, but Microsoft has finally found it worth the effort to put out an iOS app which ties right into our Xbox Live accounts, bringing everything from videos and features to friend interaction to the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
Once downloaded, we are asked to enter our Xbox Live credentials, a necessity if the app is to go off and connect to the same servers that the Xbox 360 hooks into. From here we completely immersed in the world of Xbox. Access to streaming video of interviews and features all work flawlessly, and all our Xbox 360 games and achievements can also be given the once over right from within the app.
There is a social element to proceedings too, with all our Xbox Live friends in attendance, along with the ability to send and receive messages over Xbox Live. I would have liked a push notification when a new message is received, but it is still early days. There you go Microsoft, you can have that idea for free!
A huge positive, or perhaps a negative depending on which side of the fence you sit on, is the app's Windows Phone 7-inspired interface. My Xbox Live looks and acts just like a Windows Phone 7 app, even down to the little transitions that happen when changing screens. I, for one, love it but I can see plenty of people being put off by it. Arguably if people wanted a WP7 device, they would have bought one. Still, it makes a nice change and I commend Microsoft's engineers for their work, even if it does come across as a cheap plug for their Metro interface.
Aside from the aforementioned lack of push notifications, there isn't a great deal wrong with the app in itself. Yes, it could be a little quicker at the initial log-in, but I'm really nitpicking here.
It may just be the relief talking - I've waited a long time for Microsoft to give me real, 1st-party access to my Xbox Live experience when on the move – but this is a very, very nice app so long as you can forgive that interface.
At the end of the day, My Xbox Live is a free app, and anyone who is an Xbox Live owner really should give it a try. There's nothing to lose.