Microsoft has released a free Xbox Live app for the iOS platform, bringing the interactive game center to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices.
The new iOS app allows users to send/receive messages with other Xbox Live friends, track and compare achievements, change their 3D avatars, access Xbox Spotlight feeds, edit Xbox Live profiles and get game tips and tricks, according to the description on the iTunes store.
This is a somewhat surprising move from Microsoft, as it has its own smartphone platform, Windows Phone, and one of its top selling points is that Xbox Live is built in. Yet, the company weighed carefully whether to make Microsoft apps available on non-Microsoft platforms, as Microsoft General Manager Corporate Strategy, Charles Songhurst, said during a Dec. 6 appearance at the NASDAQ OMX Investor Program event in London:
“You’ve always got to be very strategic about decisions you make about whether you don’t put your core applications on your platform or on other platforms. We’ll continue to think strategically about that going forward.”
Microsoft also released the Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone, allowing users to search via Bing for movies, TV shows, music, games and apps on their Xboxes, in addition to obtaining additional information on that content.