Microsoft provides select developers with Xbox SmartGlass toolkit

Microsoft provides select developers with Xbox SmartGlass toolkit

Summary: There's now an SDK for Xbox SmartGlass, a souped-up version of Microsoft's Xbox Companion app, due out later this year.


Microsoft made available for download on June 21 the software development kit (SDK) for its recently announced SmartGlass Xbox companion application.

SmartGlass, an application Microsoft unveiled at the E3 conference in early June, is an application for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and other portable devices that will connect phones, PCs and tablets with your Xbox 360 console by displaying supplemental content on those devices. The app will work with iPads, iPhones and Android devices, not just Windows 8 and Windows Phone. SmartGlass is a souped-up version of Microsoft's current Xbox Companion app.

The SmartGlass SDK is available to "partners that have agreements to develop Xbox games or entertainment applications for the Xbox 360 console," a Microsoft spokesperson said. It also appears to be available to Microsoft employees.The SDK is downloadable here.

The SDK includes Xbox SmartGlass Studio for building SmartGlass "activities"; a JavaScript library, which includes "a set of device APIs that are consistent across all platforms"; and sample code.

Microsoft's press release on SmartGlass noted that it will be available "with select games and Xbox Live content and requires Internet connectivity and compatible devices." Xbox Live Gold membership will be required for some Xbox SmartGlass-enabled content and features.

SmartGlass is not available now; Microsoft officials are saying "later this year," which seems to imply there may be an Xbox Live Dashboard update required to make this work.

Topics: Microsoft, Hardware, Mobility, Software Development


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Virtual Xbox's

    I think it would be great if Windows 8 PCs could be designated virtual Xbox consoles, and have the SmartGlass system revolve around them. In fact if MS does this, it could significantly broaden the use of the SmartGlass system. I think a lot of people will want to turn their large screen Windows 8 systems into virtual Xbox consoles, and consume games and other entertainment content from Xbox Live, while using the SmartGlass system.
    P. Douglas