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Microsoft's SmartGlass For Android Reviewed

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the check-it-out dept.

Android 107

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has released their much anticipated SmartGlass application for Android, allowing the Linux-based mobile OS to act as an input device for their Xbox 360 game console. While the app has its share of annoying problems, it does offer a glimpse into a possible future where consumer electronics are no longer crippled by the artificial barriers of manufacturer or operating system."

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Is this Microsoft's response to (5, Interesting)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 2 years ago | (#41799013)

the Wii U tablet-based controller?

Re:Is this Microsoft's response to (4, Funny)

EnsilZah (575600) | about 2 years ago | (#41799225)

Well, they Wii U hasn't been released yet so a pre-sponse?

Re:Is this Microsoft's response to (2)

bondsbw (888959) | about 2 years ago | (#41799233)

Not just a response. A major revamp of a system that has barely made it to market.

Seriously, why did Nintendo announce the Wii U so early? Microsoft almost beat them to market with their own idea.

Defensive publication (5, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41799569)

Seriously, why did Nintendo announce the Wii U so early?

It's called defensive publication [wikipedia.org] . For any feature Nintendo announces, someone else can't get a patent.

Re:Is this Microsoft's response to (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41799857)

Well I can tell you for a fact that MS not only intended, but relished stealing Nintendo's thunder on this one.

I was talking to an MS employee working on the project (while still secret, but I guess my NDA is expired now) and he said they had actually planned their 2012 E3 keynote to introduce it the day before Nintendo's keynote formally announcing the Wii U. The basic pitch was "why go buy an expensive proprietary controller that does one thing when you can use any smartphone or tablet from any manufacturer?"

Re:Is this Microsoft's response to (1)

edwdig (47888) | about 2 years ago | (#41800637)

Because 3rd party developers with early dev kit access were leaking details to the press. They thought it was better to announce it on their own terms than to have all the details leak out that way.

Re:Is this Microsoft's response to (3, Informative)

Billlagr (931034) | about 2 years ago | (#41800937)

I'm not sure it will make a lot of difference to be honest. The Wii-U has the touchscreen controller, shipped with every Wii-U. It is a consistent, core component that publishers know will be present and can reliably build functionality for, whereas this is a kind of add-on that publishers can't count on being present, or even consistent. Different screen resolutions, depends on network availability, which may or may ot introduce some lag or delay. I can't really see it being anything more than a short lived novelty

Re:Is this Microsoft's response to (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41799791)

the Wii U tablet-based controller?

No. This is Microsoft trying desperately to stay relevant.

They have two major cash cows: Windows and Office. Windows is becoming increasingly threatened by Linux and OSX on the desktop and Android/iOS tablets and smartphones on the mobile side. For Microsoft that's a big deal.

They tried viewing GNU/Linux as "the enemy" and failed - remember the Halloween documents? They can't fight what they can't buy out or embrace-and-extend so their usual tactics don't work there. Android is the same deal. Anyone familiar with Microsoft knows they are not stupid (they're assholes but not stupid assholes). They aren't going to waste time and effort repeating that mistake and fighting a fight they cannot win.

Sometimes staying relevant means admitting you can't beat something so you might as well accept the reality and be a part of it. Microsoft is the kind of dick-waving company that would much rather just dominate. This being a part of it is a very distant second-best for them, but it beats irrelevancy. Irrelevancy is what a corporation fears the most, more than any fine, more than any customer backlash, more than any bad PR.

Re:Is this Microsoft's response to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41803591)

What OSS crack have you been smoking?

OSX may well be gaining market share on desktops, but Linux is certainly in no danger of threatening Windows on the desktop.

Um Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41799039)

Doesn't linux strive to overcome the barriers artificially created by manufacturers and OSs? It has done pretty well for me.

Re:Um Linux? (5, Insightful)

Garridan (597129) | about 2 years ago | (#41799063)

Barriers are not "artificially created" between operating systems. Different operating systems have different APIs, different underlying assumptions, etc., so most barriers between them are very real and difficult to break down, often costing thousands of developer hours. And even then, nothing is guaranteed to work.

Re:Um Linux? (2)

morcego (260031) | about 2 years ago | (#41799103)

Everything has different APIs, but in most case those are artificial barriers. Mostly due to lack of (public) documentation. Other times, because of stupid patents.

If you mean different ABIs then yes, that is true, but that's just part of the game. It is like saying different processors have different microcodes.

Re:Um Linux? (1)

Garridan (597129) | about 2 years ago | (#41799195)

ABI is included in "etc". Consider, for example, the lack of fork() in windows. It's a complete showstopper for linux programs which depend on fork. That's an API-level problem.

Re:Um Linux? (1)

morcego (260031) | about 2 years ago | (#41799391)

'Included in "etc"' ? Seriously ?

So what you mean it "Different operating systems have different things".

It is an interesting argument, in light of the fact that most barriers have NOTHING to do with the operating system(s). Ask anyone who worked with TMN, inter device communication etc. Heck, even people who work with things as simple as EDIs will tell you that is nonsense.

fork + exec = spawn = CreateProcess (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41799599)

Consider, for example, the lack of fork() in windows. It's a complete showstopper for linux programs which depend on fork. That's an API-level problem.

These problems are surmountable. Perhaps the most common case of fork() is to prepare for exec(), in which case an application can wrap the fork() and exec() in a function called spawn(). Then on Windows, spawn() would wrap CreateProcess().

Re:Um Linux? (5, Insightful)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 2 years ago | (#41799379)

You've got to be kidding me.

Microsoft has been actively fighting for more than a decade by all means, both technically and legally, technologies such as Java in order to make multi-platform development as difficult as possible. The whole idea of .NET was to make it harder to port programs while making it easy to develop for one platform. Apple does the same by tying developers to their toolchain and making it hard to develop with anything else than Objective-C+Cocoa. (Not to speak of various lawsuits.)

Does the word "application barrier" not ring a bell at all? Of course it's intentional. Everybody knows that since the mid 90s. It is not hard at all to overcome low-level API inconsistencies, every cross-platform abstraction layer does that. The reason why all of these libraries are incomplete or create problems is economical not technological. If the big players had worked together rather than against each other, you could today write any application once and run it on every PC, every Mac, every smart phone, your browser and probably also your mom's toaster.

Re:Um Linux? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41799485)

Nothing wrong with objective C. What's your problem? And OS X is Unix. May be you're heard of it.

Re:Um Linux? (0, Flamebait)

csumpi (2258986) | about 2 years ago | (#41800515)

Nothing wrong with objective-c. But Apple's toolchain and developer tools suck. If you don't believe me, take any open source application and try to build it with xcode and Apple's frameworks.

Re:Um Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41800703)

well you're free to use any of your precious open source unix tools on os x...oh wait, apple uses llvm, gcc and git. fuck, i guess you're just a moron.

Re:Um Linux? (2)

loufoque (1400831) | about 2 years ago | (#41802479)

Apple's toolchain is GCC 4.2 or Clang 3.1.
Both are good compilers.

You don't to go through the stupid IDE to do things. It works just like on Linux, except that GCC 4.2 is old and outdated.

Re:Um Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41799577)

You could run it on everything?

That would mean processor hedgemony. There would be no everything. There would just be Sameness. A universal one size fits all. Socialist code!

A social safety .NET (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41799633)

That would mean processor hedgemony. There would be no everything. There would just be Sameness. A universal one size fits all. Socialist code!

Sometimes, especially for code that blocks on the user most of the time, just running is better than running fast. To use the "socialism" analogy, perhaps we need a bit of social safety net, an instruction set that every computer on the net can use.

Re:A social safety .NET (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41799745)

Same AC. Social safety net you say?

Java? Is that you Larry?

Re:A social safety .NET (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41800081)

Anonymous Coward wrote:

Social safety net you say?

Java? Is that you Larry?

I can't see why would One Rich Anus Called Larry Ellison be promoting a "social safety .NET [for] every computer on the .NET". Or is there another Larry I should be aware of who works for Microsoft or Xamarin?

Re:Um Linux? (1)

njahnke (757694) | about 2 years ago | (#41799959)

tried qt?

Re:Um Linux? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41800007)

This ridiculous fucking drivel is insightful? Are you zealots so jaded here?

Re:Um Linux? (1)

grumbel (592662) | about 2 years ago | (#41800183)

The reason why all of these libraries are incomplete or create problems is economical not technological.

And yet in the Open Source world things get reinvented and reimplemented in slightly incompatible ways all the time. Heck, even a Gnome2 isn't very much compatible with a Gnome3 and cross-distribution compatibility is still not something we don't have on Linux, let alone a package management system that could handle it.

Sometimes incompatibility is intentional, but very often it's simply a case that it's easier to hack together your own solution for a problem, then trying to get everybody else agree on one. It doesn't help when the available solution are kind of crap and a rewrite from scratch is easier then trying to clean up the mess.

Very bad example since it was deliberate (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#41801931)

The gnome3 and gnome2 incompatibility could have been easily avoided but instead it was deliberately done to force retirement of gnome2 components and start with a clean slate. The gnome3 team had to effectively introduce DLL hell to linux to accomplish that.

Looks like they want it to have a future (2, Funny)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#41799047)

Releasing it to Android before Windows Phone

Re:Looks like they want it to have a future (1, Funny)

InspectorGadget1964 (2439148) | about 2 years ago | (#41799071)

It is quite possible that in order to release it to the Windoze phone, they would have to write sixty million lines of code instead of ajust a few hunderd. Also, the app would take two hours to load and upon startying would crash the phone

Re:Looks like they want it to have a future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41799517)

Only 1hr and 59min load times, you insensitive clod!

Re:Looks like they want it to have a future (4, Informative)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 2 years ago | (#41799985)

Except they released it two days earlier for Windows Phone and it runs great. But.. whatever.

Re:Looks like they want it to have a future (2, Funny)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#41800487)

Except they released it two days earlier for Windows Phone and it runs great. But.. whatever.

Yes indeed, both Windows Phone users have reported this.

Re:Looks like they want it to have a future (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about 2 years ago | (#41800717)

One 100% market growth from the number of WP users last week. That's amazing.

Woooo +2 Troll (0)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#41801979)

Guys, I'm aiming for +4 Troll, I'm not even sure if you can get +5 Troll, but if you can I want it.

Re:Woooo +2 Troll (0)

Krneki (1192201) | about 2 years ago | (#41805671)

A +5 Troll is a mystical achievement, I tried to get it a couple of times, but never got past +2.

I think they changed the code a while back and you can't achieve it any-more.

Still, googling it you can find some very amusing posts labelled +5 troll https://www.google.it/#hl=it&rlz=1C2GPCK_enSI363&sclient=psy-ab&q=%22score:+5+troll%22+site%3Aslashdot.org&oq=%22score:+5+troll%22+site%3Aslashdot.org&gs_l=hp.3...62009.64450.4.65019.8.8.0.0.0.0.89.645.8.8.0...0.0...1c.1.bm1TZaT9-M4&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=3c7dfe9879c598ed&bpcl=35466521&biw=1680&bih=989 [google.it]

Re:Looks like they want it to have a future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41800495)

I have yet to see someone with a Windows phone in real life. I've seen maybe 2 Zunes in my lifetime.

Re:Looks like they want it to have a future (0)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 2 years ago | (#41800777)

I'm sorry, "Windoze"?

How old are you? 15?

This "Windoze" phone, is it from "Micro$loth"?

Idiot.

Re:Looks like they want it to have a future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41803011)

How old are you 12?

Getting all riled up over a Windoze.

  MS thanks you for protecting their honor, now get the hell out of here. This is news for nerds, not news for whiners.

Re:Looks like they want it to have a future (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41799105)

It's already out on Windows Phone as well.

Re:Looks like they want it to have a future (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#41799399)

Quit trying to confuse people with facts.

Re:Looks like they want it to have a future (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41799723)

Quit succeeding in being a sycophantic ass.

Re:Looks like they want it to have a future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41799155)

They released it for Windows Phone at the same time.

Re:Looks like they want it to have a future (1)

SuperMooCow (2739821) | about 2 years ago | (#41800695)

Nope, they released it for Microsoft Android iPhone at the same time too.

no longer crippled by the artificial barriers? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41799069)

DRM will continue to cripple and kill off (minidisk, DAT) our technology for a very long time.

Re:no longer crippled by the artificial barriers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41799107)

Doesn't apply in this case. Stop having such a one tracked mind.

Re:no longer crippled by the artificial barriers? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41799157)

Yes, it does, and I should have included copyrights and patents. These, and all the politics behind them are the biggest impediments to human progress we have today. If I develop my own UI for Xbox, will I be sued or receive a C&D for it?

Plenty of PCs on which to prototype your UI (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41799653)

If I develop my own UI for Xbox

To paraphrase the recent order of the Register of Copyrights denying the DMCA exemption for interoperability with game consoles, why do you have to make a new user interface for an Xbox game console? There are plenty of PCs on which to prototype your user interface, and PCs can use the same Xbox 360 controllers, Kinect sensors, and HDMI monitors that Xbox 360 consoles use.

Re:Plenty of PCs on which to prototype your UI (0)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#41800125)

"According to Cocteau's plan, I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think, I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech, and freedom of choice. I'm the kinda guy that likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecue ribs with the side-order of gravy fries?" I want high cholesterol! I wanna eat bacon, and butter, and buckets of cheese, okay?! I wanna smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section! I wanna run naked through the street, with green Jell-O all over my body, reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly may feel the need to, okay, pal?" -Edgar Friendly

rooted phones (0, Troll)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41799075)

glimpse into a possible future where consumer electronics are no longer crippled by the artificial barriers of manufacturer or operating system.

Does it deal with rooted phones intelligently by assuming the device is malicious or does it deal with rooted phones stupidly by assuming the device is perfectly trustworthy?

I don't have a xbox 360 so it doesn't matter for me, but if I did I'd probably have the sniffer up and sniffin already. Unless it uses bluetooth somehow instead of wifi. of course there are sniffers for BT but it takes some specialized hardware.

Re:rooted phones (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41799151)

Youre a sniffer

Re:rooted phones (2)

Sable Drakon (831800) | about 2 years ago | (#41799173)

Um, it doesn't use Bluetooth at all. Smartglass does use Wifi. You'd have known that if you went to doublecheck the permissions the app is asking for. Not to mention the 360 doesn't have Bluetooth in any of its various configurations.

Re:rooted phones (2)

skandalfo (623756) | about 2 years ago | (#41799191)

If you have rooted the device, you can intercept any communications through any of the operating system provided services, either by using the monitoring facilities it provides or by modifying it. You don't need to sniff the packets 'on air', and thus you can pick the traffic for bluetooth too.

If you are worried that sensitive data is transmitted over a network link... uhm... then the software should be encrypting the data.

I don't get what's your worry, anyway, other than people reverse-engineering Microsoft's protocols and creating alternative SmartGlass clients.

Re:rooted phones (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#41799297)

I'm not sure what you're on abut. Android was designed to be rooted. It can also tell applications that it's not.

Re:rooted phones (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41799409)

Does it deal with rooted phones intelligently by assuming the device is malicious or does it deal with rooted phones stupidly by assuming the device is perfectly trustworthy?

Perhaps it deals with all phones the same way: As clients, with strict checking of data integrity and verification. Client side security is an oxymoron.

DRM proponents (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41799739)

Client side security is an oxymoron.

So how should people who understand this fact go about convincing Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros. of this?

Re:DRM proponents (2)

causality (777677) | about 2 years ago | (#41799939)

Client side security is an oxymoron.

So how should people who understand this fact go about convincing Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros. of this?

Their ignorance is our bliss.

Technologically unsound DRM and largely unenforcable draconian copyright laws means that their efforts WILL fail. How stubborn and thick-headed they are will determine how many tens of millions of dollars (that could have enriched their shareholders) they will waste on programmers and lobbyists before they are forced to admit it.

What we really need is a movement among shareholders. Let them start seeing every dollar spent on DRM and lobbying for more copyright as management's failure to meet their fiduciary responsibilities. Unfortunately this seems just like the War on (some) Drugs, in that decades of failure still hasn't convinced the True Believers that it isn't gonna work. That part is just plain sad. People who deny reality are unfit to make these decisions.

Re:rooted phones (1)

adolf (21054) | about 2 years ago | (#41799435)

Works fine on my rooted Droid 4 with a custom ROM.

Dunno WTF it's useful for, yet (if anything) but it doesn't complain about anything.

Re:rooted phones (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#41799605)

Just tried it out. One thing it is useful for is making the silly "Metro" interface more usable.

Re:rooted phones (1)

cynyr (703126) | about 2 years ago | (#41800201)

How would a rooted phone be an issue at all? As far as I can tell from TFS this is a controller only, it's not like you would be able to add "points" or anything like that to your account via it.

Android + Microsoft (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41799077)

Is that a recipe for suck or what? lmao...

Shows MSs confidence in WIn 8/ARM tablets. (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 2 years ago | (#41799125)

That they decide to release an Android application first. I guess at some point you have to write for the most important OSs or relegate yourself to niche markets.

Re:Shows MSs confidence in WIn 8/ARM tablets. (4, Informative)

Ferzerp (83619) | about 2 years ago | (#41799147)

Smartglass is available for both WP7 and WinRT, but hey, don't let reality interfere with your fantasy world.

Re:Shows MSs confidence in WIn 8/ARM tablets. (1)

Locutus (9039) | about 2 years ago | (#41801443)

they didn't release to PalmOS but eventually bought the market by paying companies to ship WindowsCE based PDAs. This is really out of character for Microsoft but then again, they have tried how many times with a Windows Phone and a Windows Tablet and failed? Apple's design and costs are going to be tough for Microsoft to break into and Android's utilitarian capabilities and existing market share also very tough to break into.

But you know, Microsoft once supported running Windows apps on UNIX until NT gained enough market share and many major UNIX apps were ported. Then they yanked the rug out from under it and vendors were left with having to spend millions porting back to UNIX or stick with a Windows-only code base.

What has surprised me more is how many XBox ads I see compared to Windows 8 ads. It seems to be at least 2:1 ratio. I guess they are doubling down on the one thing which seems to finally be showing growth and profit growth. I mean if Windows 8 fails and the PC segment keeps shrinking, they'll need something to pick up and replace those lost revenues or the stock will collapse. IMO

LoB

Not happy on a Jelly Bean tablet (4, Informative)

Zigurd (3528) | about 2 years ago | (#41799187)

Not compatible with ASUS T-300 running Jelly Bean. :-(

Re:Not happy on a Jelly Bean tablet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41799305)

Just sideload it, worked for my nexus 7.

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1957648&page=4

Re:Not happy on a Jelly Bean tablet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41799329)

Non-rooted Nexus 7 here. Google play says "Your device isnt compatible with this version".

Re:Not happy on a Jelly Bean tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41800687)

Um, did you read the link I posted? you don't need a rooted Nexus to sideload. You just have to click the checkbox that says to allow non Google Play app installation. (i.e. my nexus isn't rooted either).

Re:Not happy on a Jelly Bean tablet (1)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#41802763)

Microsoft are artificially preventing their XBox apps working on Google's tablets, because they recognise that whilst Android phones are now far and away the most prominent smartphone platform on the planet and hence unavoidable in terms of support, that's not such the case in the tablet world where Microsoft still think they have a chance with WinRT.

In other words they think that by blocking it on the Nexus 7's default setup it'll give users more reason to buy a Windows tablet, than an Android tablet whilst they recognise that in the smartphone market not supporting it will mean it's a feature no one takes up.

It's a pretty desperate attempt to try and give their tablets an edge, but there you have it.

Not bluetooth (4, Informative)

Dan East (318230) | about 2 years ago | (#41799209)

I first assumed this app would connect directly to my XBox via Bluetooth, and act as an actual controller device. It doesn't. Instead it requires internet connectivity on both the XBox and phone, and goes through the XBox Live servers (you have to sign into your XBox account on your phone, and also be logged into that XBox account on the XBox itself, before it can connect). I don't feel like messing around watching network traffic today, but I'm curious if XBox Live hands my phone over directly to the XBox (they find one another on my local network), or if all communication has to go through the XBox Live servers. There is a bit of latency, so I bet all communication is going out over the internet even though the devices are only 5 feet apart and both on the same LAN.

I found the gestures a bit clunky. For example, you have to touch-hold while dragging to drag faster. However there isn't any method (that I could find) to go through a whole page at a time in the XBox menus. I had to go item by item. I think I would prefer a simple D-Pad type setup on my phone, with dedicated buttons to scroll entire pages / screens at a time.

Re:Not bluetooth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41799327)

If you don't have them on the same network it tells you there will be more lag

Re:Not bluetooth (4, Funny)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 years ago | (#41799461)

I first assumed this app would connect directly to my XBox via Bluetooth

That'd be pretty slick given your xbox doesn't have any bluetooth support.

Re:Not bluetooth (3, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about 2 years ago | (#41799463)

I first assumed this app would connect directly to my XBox via Bluetooth, and act as an actual controller device. It doesn't. Instead it requires internet connectivity on both the XBox and phone, and goes through the XBox Live servers (you have to sign into your XBox account on your phone, and also be logged into that XBox account on the XBox itself, before it can connect). I don't feel like messing around watching network traffic today, but I'm curious if XBox Live hands my phone over directly to the XBox (they find one another on my local network), or if all communication has to go through the XBox Live servers. There is a bit of latency, so I bet all communication is going out over the internet even though the devices are only 5 feet apart and both on the same LAN.

I found the gestures a bit clunky. For example, you have to touch-hold while dragging to drag faster. However there isn't any method (that I could find) to go through a whole page at a time in the XBox menus. I had to go item by item. I think I would prefer a simple D-Pad type setup on my phone, with dedicated buttons to scroll entire pages / screens at a time.

For reference, 360 controllers don't use bluetooth.

Re:Not bluetooth (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 2 years ago | (#41800073)

Xbox live is used for pairing. The actual interface is then negotiated over the LAN.

Or at least that's my understanding since I first connected over my phone's 3G connection (I had wifi turned off) and it gave me a notice saying something to the effect of "Please connect from the same network for better performance."

Re:Not bluetooth (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#41801955)

That would suck immensely if there's not XBox Live servers on your continent. They haven't done a Blizzard and located just about everything on the US west coast have they?

Similar thing for linux? (2, Interesting)

galoise (977950) | about 2 years ago | (#41799251)

Does anybody know if there's a similar thing for Linux? I've been looking for something that would allow the pen-digitizer in my thinkpad tablet work as input for my linux box, but so far have failed at finding anything in that vein.

Re:Similar thing for linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41801679)

There is premotedroid [google.com] . Is a bit laggy over WiFi, and my laptop doesn't have bluetooth so I didn't try that. YMMV

Anyone remember Amiga Basic? (1)

aybiss (876862) | about 2 years ago | (#41799309)

'The app has its share of annoying problems'...
 
...and I'm _sure_ they didn't do it on purpose!

No luck on my Nexus 7 (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | about 2 years ago | (#41799619)

Perhaps it's limited to phones at the moment? Surprised to see the Android version beat iOS considering MS has supported iOS much more in the past.

Re:No luck on my Nexus 7 (1)

rwise2112 (648849) | about 2 years ago | (#41803461)

Perhaps it's limited to phones at the moment? Surprised to see the Android version beat iOS considering MS has supported iOS much more in the past.

Indeed, TFA states that. I know - I'm so ashamed I actually read TFA.

Has Microsoft turned the corner? (5, Interesting)

swillden (191260) | about 2 years ago | (#41799995)

Bear with me why I provide a little background to the question in the subject:

I worked for IBM for better than a decade, from the late 90s to just a couple of years ago. During that time, the general sentiment inside of IBM was that trying to lock customers in was a bad idea, that in the long term what was good for business was open, cross-platform widely-compatible solutions. That's not to say that none of IBM's product divisions ever tried to lock customers in, but it was the exception, and a fairly rare exception, and most of the rest of the company thought they were being stupid.

Obviously, the IBM I worked for was radically different in that respect from the IBM of the 60s, 70s and early 80s, when interoperability was a dirty word and IBM was able to gouge customers for obscene profits by locking them into "pure Blue" solutions. The anti-trust lawsuit and resulting consent decree was the start of the transformation, but the bigger force, IMO, was the fact that customers started distrusting IBM. In the late 90s when I started working for IBM Global Services, it was fairly standard practice in the consulting arm to actively *avoid* recommending IBM products unless they were clearly and undeniably the best solution available. A few years later practice shifted to pushing "blue" solutions more... but by then all of the solutions themselves had become not only interoperability-enabled, but most of them were entirely about interoperability, as IBM made the shift to a middleware and services company.

The fact is that open architectures and interoperable solutions really are better business in the long run. In the short term, lock-in allows the extraction of monopoly rents, but you don't build strong customer relationships that way, and good relations with your customers is how you continue raking in the bucks year after year, decade after decade. This is especially true for companies like IBM whose primary clients are businesses, but it's also true for companies that straddle the business and consumer markets, like Microsoft.

A number of things that have happened over the last few years make me think that Microsoft, even though they didn't get slapped around by the government the way IBM did, and really haven't ever gone through the sort of bloodletting that IBM did, has begun to turn the corner, to lose its institutional arrogance and its startup mentality of total domination at all costs, and matured into a company that understands you don't have to win everything to be successful, and that cooperation is sometimes more effective than competition.

I'd have said they'd never make that change while Ballmer is in charge, but maybe I was too pessimistic.

I'll reserve judgment for a few more years and see where they go. But I'm beginning to have hope that a new, less-evil Microsoft is emerging. They may need another serious failure or three to get all the way there, though. A major Windows 8 flop would probably be good for therm (culturally).

Re:Has Microsoft turned the corner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41800337)

MS hasn't lost any marketshare sufficient enough for them to change their business direction, nor have they changed their leadership to offer any vision for changing direction, and the entire industry is now relying more and more on copyrights and patents to make money and kill competition, so the industry is heading in the opposite direction from IBM.

Re:Has Microsoft turned the corner? (1)

swillden (191260) | about 2 years ago | (#41800419)

Bear with me why I provide

Oh, that's annoying. s/why/while/

Damn fingers.

Re:Has Microsoft turned the corner? (1)

TrueSpeed (576528) | about 2 years ago | (#41800683)

I'll believe this when I see them do something on Android that's not in their financial interest. As I've already said, this application is nothing but a tool to pump their services and products and little to do with embracing Android.

Re:Has Microsoft turned the corner? (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about 2 years ago | (#41800711)

That's about as stupid as saying, "I don't believe anyone likes iPhone until I see people buy 10-15 just to throw them out and show their support to Apple. Otherwise they are just buying them to fill a need and desire for a phone and entertainment device. Greedy ass consumers."

Re:Has Microsoft turned the corner? (1)

swillden (191260) | about 2 years ago | (#41800761)

I'll believe this when I see them do something on Android that's not in their financial interest. As I've already said, this application is nothing but a tool to pump their services and products and little to do with embracing Android.

Oh, I don't expect them to "embrace" Android. But being willing to interoperate is significant. If this were the only example, I'd dismiss it, but it's not. The pattern, of late, seems to indicate the sort of maturation that I described. Maybe it's just temporary, but I see some reason to be hopeful.

Re:Has Microsoft turned the corner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41802281)

I completely agree with you and I have no love for MS/work for a competing search engine company (try and guess which).

Seeing things like this is always a good thing, because even if the entire corporate culture hasn't shifted, clearly some within it have. Not that I'm the pinnacle of employee talent or anything, but I generally would never have considered working for Microsoft in the past but certain cultural shifts like this make the company more appealing/make you think that somebody in that place gets it.

Part of me wants to see MS fail hard. Another part of me wants to see them reinvent themselves into a friendlier, less borg like corporation that helps push tech forward. I know we're far away from either scenario, and perhaps many of us could never trust the latter if it did occur, but still, it's really interesting to see these types of developments from a company that you just don't expect it from.

Re:Has Microsoft turned the corner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41801049)

Thank you random guy on slashdot, on why you understand Microsoft's business model better than they do, and they should adopt open source/open standards.

Re:Has Microsoft turned the corner? (1)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#41802787)

No because they've intentionally crippled apps like this from working on Android tablets where they work just fine if you bypass the incompatibility "test" they've used.

They only support it on phones because they recognise that ignoring the smartphone platform with near 70% marketshare is simply suicide for the product.

If this just worked on Nexus 7 tablets etc. out the box, which there's no reason it shouldn't, then I'd agree with you, but whilst they're still intentionally crippling it on one of the most prominent flagship Android tablets in the marketplace I'd say it's just business as usual sadly.

Re:Has Microsoft turned the corner? (1)

swillden (191260) | about 2 years ago | (#41808029)

Good point!

Android Tablet for Google TV? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 2 years ago | (#41800223)

Is there some way we can get the Google TV UI on an Android tablet? The entire GUI, not just the Google TV Remote Android app. How about more than just the UI, and actually stream TV from the Google TV box to the Android tablet.

No Holo? Typical Microsoft (1)

TrueSpeed (576528) | about 2 years ago | (#41800669)

Looks like they can't even adhere to Android UI guidelines because they essentially used their Windows Phone UI on an Android app instead of using Holo. Not very professional from a standards point of view.

Also, the article seems to be surprised that Microsoft made this application available for Android - which is very bizarre. Like SkyDrive, Microsoft needs to get this on as many platforms as possible so that they can make their services and products attractive to everyone. This has little to do with embracing Android.

Linux based? (1)

mongrol (200050) | about 2 years ago | (#41800723)

Android uses Linux as its kernel but I wouldn't say it was Linux based. It's userland is java based. They could easily use another kernel if they so wished.

While the app has its share of annoying problems.. (1)

WingCmdr (100480) | about 2 years ago | (#41801923)

Well, it is a microsoft app after all.

I've been waiting for this (1)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | about 2 years ago | (#41802637)

Microsoft, making software for linux

c'mon guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41802687)

Embrace, extend and extinguish
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace,_extend_and_extinguish

It's not compatiable with either of my droids (1)

tatman (1076111) | about 2 years ago | (#41804025)

One is running Icecream sandwich tablet and the other gingerbread phone. Neither are more than a year ago. So much for "no longer crippled by the artificial barriers of manufacturer or operating system". They clearly picked a limited set of devices.

Re:It's not compatiable with either of my droids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41806791)

I can't understand why this wouldn't work with tablets and phones older than 4.0. Am I missing something here? Has anyone tried side-loading on a gingerbread phone?

Not perfect, but a good start. (1)

Apu de Beaumarchais (2023822) | about 2 years ago | (#41806463)

My cheap XP machine that I was running my media center in my bedroom died last Monday and I didn't want to go out and replace it right away. I wrote a media center specifically tailored to work in IE on my 360 in the bedroom. It's still rough around the edges, but the smart glass app for my android helped to make it a little easier to use.until I have time to make it controllable with my media center remote. It makes it easy to launch IE and then control it like a mouse. I haven't figured out how to bring up a keyboard in the mouse in the IE control section though, if it's possible, which would be nice for using some key bindings.
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