Microsoft is not only releasing an Xbox Companion app for Windows Phones, it’s slyly porting its Windows Phone 7 experience to the iPhone and iPad via an official iOS Xbox Live app.
The app features the distinctive "Metro" user interface and tiles, the three-button menu at the bottom of the screen and lateral scrolling to swipe from page to page.
The iOS app is not as capable as its Windows Phone counterpart but lets users stay connected with the Xbox Live community when they are away from their console.
It enables users to read and send messages to friends, manage friends lists, edit their Live profile, change their avatar features and compare achievement progress with friends.
Some loyal users are questioning why Microsoft would release its core apps on competing platforms -- Microsoft is rumored to be bringing its suite of Office word processing apps to the iOS platform in 2012 too -- but most iPhone-owning Xbox players are grateful to have access to an iOS Xbox app.
The free Xbox Companion for Windows Phone was launched on December 6 and has a much more comprehensive feature list.
"Using the Xbox Companion app you can learn more details about the movie, TV show, music or game that is playing on your console," said Microsoft in a post on its Major
Nelson blog. "You can also get friend activity (friends online, friends with beacons, friends who have recently played), achievements and related items. You’ll also be able to select a search result, and launch a movie, TV show, game or app on the connected console as well as play, pause, fw, rw the playing video or music on the connected Xbox, initiate media purchase and navigate your Xbox console with Windows Phone using the Xbox Companion."
The iOS Xbox Live App is available as a free download from the App Store, the Xbox Companion for Windows Phone 7 app is available from the Windows Phone Marketplace.