Microsoft will be launching a completely new SmartGlass app for use with its upcoming Xbox One console, promising better performance and a host of new features.

The app will be released sometime in the 2013 holiday season for iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8.

The Xbox One will detect and connect with your SmartGlass-empowered device in about four seconds and can support up to 16 (!!) devices at once. Once connected you'll be able to use it as a remote to control both your Xbox One and TV functions like volume, etc. You can also access and purchase items in on Xbox Live while playing a game.

Microsoft also says you will be able to use a table or phone to engage in multiplayer matchmaking without interrupting your current game. Also, Xbox Live general manager Ron Pessner said the company is working on in-game SmartGlass help features.

"If you're having trouble in a game, you can tap a Help button in SmartGlass that will give you contextually aware information for whatever you're playing," said Pessner. "We're working closely with developers today to add game help to individual Xbox One titles. This is done by game creators making a help manual that we then host in SmartGlass. During gameplay, SmartGlass follows your progress and knows exactly where you're at and where you're having trouble, so that when you hit the Help button you'll be given the tips you need."

[Source: CVG]

Our Take:
On the one hand, it's cool to see Microsoft pushing it's Xbox content to more devices. Being able to, for example, buy something on my phone while I'm at work then have it waiting for me when I get home has some definite appeal. So does the idea of live game guides and hints, if they are done right (that's a big if). Sometimes, though, I wonder if the new systems are going to present me with too many ways to be distracted from what I actually bought them for: playing games. Oftentimes, I look to games as a way to get away from my phone. Still, the world is increasingly about connecting multiple devices and SmartGlass is a smart play for Microsoft.