July 17, 2012 at 7:18 PM ET
The latest update to Microsoft's My Xbox Live app adds a bit of handy functionality for iPads — or rather, brings iPads up to date with the rest of the devices supported by the app. You can now launch games, view achievements, and send messages using your iPad.
The options are well-known to the iPhone and Windows Phone users of the app, and it's nice to be able to select from your video and game library on the iPad's big, clear screen. Unfortunately, you still can't do the sort of things best done by a tablet: browse and purchase games, enter account info, leave and read reviews and so on.
And some things were never really meant for tablets in the first place: the enormous d-pad and controls for playback control, for instance. You also are unable to play games on the tablet, which is no surprise, but still may be a little disappointing to a few hopeful gamers.
At the moment, it's not essential, but it's still a helpful replacement for navigating your Xbox menus and content if, say, your controller is low on battery or someone is using the big screen while you queue up a movie. And being able to control playback, while it's not the most practical of exercises, is still nice. You can download the app for free here.
Devin Coldewey is acontributing writer for NBC News. His personal website iscoldewey.cc.