Testing An iPhone Answer To Xbox 'Live Anywhere'

Live AnywhereXbox 360 Live Anywhere may be off Microsoft's radar, but gamers haven't forgotten.

I was recently tipped off to a web and mobile application that realizes one of Live Anywhere's greatest promises: monitoring a friend's Xbox Live activity on the go.

The application is found on 1337pwn.com and can reside on your Mac dashboard, iPhone and iPod Touch, Blackberry, Palm-powered phone or directly through the browser.

I've been looking for a mobile application like this, so I booted the iPhone version. Here's how it went...

You start by plugging in XBL gamertags. The application doesn't ask for your Windows Live login information -- third-party applications aren't allowed to yet -- so there's no way for 1337pwn to pull the information automatically. You must enter the gamertags yourself. It's a minor chore, however, and only required once.

iPhone

[my friends' names have been blurred, but borocouncilman is on your list by default]

Clicking on a profile picture brings up additional information. Scope mine below. The profile features nearly everything you'd fine while looking me up on Xbox.com or through the Xbox 360 itself. In fact, it does a little bit more.

Touch a title listed and it brings up the box art for the game. It's a little but appreciated, touch, especially if you don't own the game in question. Nothing comes up yet for Xbox Live Arcade titles, but there's room for screens, etc. Neat.

iphone-3.jpg

l337pwn has included a home page icon, so the application can appear on the iPhone's front in classy form. Det Ansinn, the man behind l337pwn, tells Multiplayer he's also working on a native application using iPhone's software development kit. Native applications arrive on the iPhone in June.

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As cool as l337pwn is, however, it doesn't have one crucial feature: friend requests. Microsoft won't let them. Unfortunately, that's somewhat of a deal breaker for me; friend requests are what I really wanted out of this. Facebook's constant updates already give me a good idea of what people are already up to. Do I really need to micromanage their XBL activity, too?

That said, if friend requests became a possibility, I'll be singing a different tune. Check back Monday for a Q&A with Ansinn on why even third-parties can't carry the Live Anywhere initiative all the way to the finish line on their own -- and if that will change.