Ever since it launched a few days ago, we've been playing with the Xbox Companion app for Window Phone 7. The new app coupled with the slick new design of the Xbox 360 Dashboard have us using our 360 as a media hub, which was not something we ever thought we'd do. Here is why we've been using our Xbox 360 as a "smart TV" appliance.
First things first, have you seen the new look of the Xbox 360? If you haven't done so already, fire up your Xbox and download the free update. Not only does it give the software a great new look, it also adds quite a few features and has some nifty voice recognition. The image above is what the new screen looks like when playing music which we triggered from the Xbox Companion app on the Windows Phone.
The new app allows you to browse music and videos and play them on the Xbox. The app also serves are a remote for the Xbox and we have experienced zero connection issues while using it in this mode. It is much easier to use the phone as a remote than the controller, but that might just be because using the controller as a remote has always felt awkward to us.
Browsing through the available music and videos is easy to do whether on the phone or Xbox and we really like the new look that the music and video player has. This is by far one of the most aesthetically pleasing "smart TV" options out there and we can see ourselves using it for the next party. The new interface looks very grown up and elegant, Microsoft has displayed some serious design chops with the new look.
Xbox Companion and the new update for Xbox 360 are both free and we cannot recommend them enough. With its sexy looks, web search, Netflix (Xbox Live Subscription required), and social integration, the Xbox 360 is really all the "smart TV" appliance we currently need. Did we mention voice control works really well?
(Images: Joelle Alcaidinho)