Technology Microsoft launches Xbox Live apps for iPhone, iPad and Windows Phone 7

Xbox gamers can now grab a pair of Live-related apps for Microsoft and Apple gadgets. There’s the Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone 7, and My Xbox Live for iPhone and iPad.
The iOS app presents your Xbox Live profile in Microsoft’s snazzy Metro interface — the spartan, tile-centric UI that’s present across Window Phone, Xbox Live and Windows 8. You’ll see your animated bobblehead avatar and your gamerscore, not dissimilar to the Xbox Live Extras app that has been available for some time on Windows Phone.
Other tabs in the app show your full friend list — with the ability to add new buddies, compose messages and send out “beacons” to tell your friends you want to play — an avatar dress-up screen, your complete game history with achievements, and trailers from Microsoft.
It’s not the first time that Microsoft has made an app for its direct rival. The iTunes App Store features apps for OneNote, Bing, Windows Live Messenger and MSN. Plus, rumour has it that MS will develop a full Office suite for iPad.
Windows Phone 7 has had such basic Xbox Live functionality since it launched, but the Companion app gives hardcore 360 fans a suite of new features. First up, you can hook the app up to your console over a wireless network. This gives you the ability to find and browse content on your phone, by using Bing search, the Zune store and your media catalogue to find movies, TV shows, music, games and apps. Tap a button and the console will load it up.
When you’re in a movie, TV show, music track or game, the companion app can tell you more details about what’s on the screen. Plus, you’ve got play, pause, fast forward and rewind buttons on your mobile, turning it into a handy remote.
Both apps are free to download. The iOS one is universal, meaning the same download runs on both iPhone and iPad.