Microsoft’s SmartGlass isn’t the fickle app it once was. Though the companion app was prone to all sorts of incompatibility and instability issues when first released in 2012, it’s come a long way, now touting convenient functionality that goes beyond the its initial interactive features designed for use with the Xbox 360. It redefines the second screen experience in many ways, allowing you to navigate the Xbox 360 and Xbox One interface and launch apps, while providing additional tools for viewing achievements, accessing social elements, controlling movie playback, and other in-game functionality exclusive to various titles. It’s pretty much the sole method for connecting your smartphone or tablet to your console — but fortunately — it’s also incredibly extensive to utilize given the One was built from the ground with the app in mind. All it takes is pairing and patience.
Here’s our quick-hit guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One, regardless if you’re using Android or iOS. Additionally, check out our guides on connecting an Xbox One controller to a PC and using the Xbox One’s assorted voice commands, along with our favorite Xbox one tips and tricks.
Step 1 — Download the SmartGlass app.
Navigate to your smartphone’s respective app store, whether it be iTunes or Google Play, and download the SmartGlass app as you any other software offering. Once downloaded, swipe through the app’s various welcome panels before tapping Get started at the bottom of the final screen.
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Step 2 — Connect to your network.
As you might expect, both your Xbox One and your smartphone with which you want to pair your console should be connected to the same network in order to properly operate. Though you can utilize your cellular network to communicate with your console, the app is often slower to respond than if you connect the two devices to the same wireless network. Navigate to the main Network settings panel on the Xbox One, and your network preferences on your smartphone, and ensure they’re connected to the same Wi-Fi network. If your Xbox One is not connected, select the Set up wireless network option, choose your desired network, and enter the respective password if prompted. Obviously, both devices must also be within range of your network to connect.
Step 3 — Sign in to your Microsoft account.
Tap the green-and-white Sign in button located at the bottom of the SmartGlass screen and enter your Microsoft account name and password in the entry fields on the resulting page. Your Microsoft account, formerly known as your Windows Live ID, is the same account associated with your Xbox Live gamertag. Once logged in, tap Connect at the top of the app screen—and assuming your smartphone is connected to the same network as your Xbox One—select your console from the pop-up menu before tapping the gray Connect button in the bottom-right corner.
Step 4 — Use the app.
Connecting is easy, but learning how to use SmartGlass takes a little time and understanding. Tapping the three bars in the upper-left corner of the app will bring up all your profile info, from friends and achievements to messages and the OneGuide, while tapping the magnifying glass will bring up an intuitive search function designed for scouring music, apps, and other content for your desired search term. Furthermore, tapping the remote icon in the bottom-right corner will present you with a list of playback options for streaming content, and if you want, you can even launch various apps and games directly from the SmartGlass home screen.
Still confused? Feel free to leave us a comment below or checkout Microsoft’s troubleshooting tips if you’re still having trouble using the SmartGlass app with your Xbox One console.