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Sleeping with the Enemy: Xbox SmartGlass for Kindle Fire HD

Microsoft pushes its second screen appearance to another non-Microsoft platform

Users of Amazon’s best-selling Kindle Fire HD tablets can now download free versions of Xbox SmartGlass optimized for those devices. The availability of this app follows the release of Xbox SmartGlass apps for Android and iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch).

Xbox SmartGlass 1.5 was recently released for Android (via the Google Play Store), and the Kindle Fire HD version is based on that release. (The iOS version of SmartGlass is at version 2.1; that was issued in December.) The Kindle Fire HD of course runs a version of Android, so the two big changes in the port are that it’s optimized for Amazon’s devices and that the app is now available from the Amazon Appstore for Android.

(Amazon’s original Kindle Fire, which is credited in jumpstarting the market for 7-inch tablets, is not supported by this release. The app is only available for Kindle Fire HD devices.)

If you’re not familiar with the app, Xbox SmartGlass enables various “second screen” scenarios when used in tandem with an Xbox 360 console. These range from TV and movie experiences, where you’re watching the content through the Xbox 360 and can learn more about the actors and TV show/movie through the app on the tablet, to music experiences where you can control console-based playback from the app, learn more about the music, and find new music to queue up. There are second screen gaming experiences coming as well, and you can use the app like a large and intelligent remote, or a front-end to the content on the console, including the web through Internet Explorer.

Additionally, the Android and iOS versions of Xbox SmartGlass can be used to manage your Xbox LIVE avatar and some aspects of your Xbox LIVE profile. On Windows Phone, this occurs through the Games hub, and on Windows 8/RT through the Xbox Games app (as opposed to SmartGlass).

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