How to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One with the Xbox app

Nick Hastings
Digital Trends

In June, 2016, Microsoft rebranded its SmartGlass “second screen” app for Android and iOS in June, 2016, as the “Xbox” app. The new app was redesigned to resemble the modern Xbox One interface, which had itself been retouched to look more like Windows 10. The app’s homepage, for example, now shows a detailed activity feed similar to the console’s, so players can see game clips and screenshots shared by their friends on Xbox Live. It’s an update that’s been a long time coming, as SmartGlass was a fickle companion for years.

Related: Halo on PC? Here’s how to do it, with Game Streaming in Windows 10

Similar to Sony’s PlayStation app, the Xbox app allows users to purchase games, share updates, view their achievements, and share updates with the their followers on Xbox Live. It also provides additional tools for viewing achievements, controlling movie playback, and accessing social elements such as profiles and messaging.

All it takes to gain complete control over your Xbox experience is a little bit of patience. The process for pairing your devices is now easier than ever, so read on for our quick-hit guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One, regardless if you’re using Android or iOS.

Step 1: Download the Xbox app

xbox-app-screen-2
xbox-app-screen-2

Before downloading the Xbox app for iOS or Android, you’ll want to update your smartphone or tablet to the latest version of its respective operating system. iOS users need version 8.0 or higher and Android users will need version 4.0 or higher. Once updated, head over to either iTunes or Google Play store and enter “Xbox” in the search field to locate the app.

Tap the Install button to begin downloading the app to your smartphone or tablet, and launch it once installed. Then, sign into your Xbox account when prompted.

Download for:

iOS Android

Step 2: Connect to your network

xbox-app-screen-3
xbox-app-screen-3

Navigate to Network settings on your 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 Set up wireless network, choose your desired network, and enter the respective password if prompted. Obviously, both devices must also be within range of your network to connect.

We recommend connecting your smartphone and your Xbox One to the same wireless network, as it will strengthen the connection. However, it is possible to use your cellular network to connect as well.

Step 3: Sync your smartphone with your console

xbox-app-screen-1
xbox-app-screen-1

While using the Xbox app, tap the three horizontal bars in the upper-left corner to bring up the main menu. From here, you can access most features, but for now, just tap Connection. After a second, a Connect to your Xbox One option should appear near the top of the screen.

Tapping that should bring up a list of available Xbox consoles that you can connect to. Assuming yours is the only one on the list, tap the icon — labeled “Xbox-SystemOS, unless you’ve renamed it– and then “Turn on.” Voila! Your smartphone and your Xbox are now soulmates. You should now be able to use your smartphone as a controller and keyboard, though this functionality is limited to the Xbox OS. There’s currently no in-game, second-screen integration.

Step 4: Use the app

xbox-app-screen-4
xbox-app-screen-4

Connecting is easy, but learning how to use the Xbox app takes a little time and understanding. Again, tapping the three horizontal bars in the upper-left corner of the app will bring up the menu, which allows you to view your profile and achievements, your recorded clips and screenshots, and access the Xbox Store, among other options. Tapping your avatar icon will bring up your friends list, while the icons next door control messages and notifications, respectively.