Nicholas Pike’s brand new iXbox Live (App Store, $.99 download) allows you to see which of your XBox Live buddies are currently online, among other gamer stats.
It’s a convenient concept; instead of turning on your XBox just to see if your friends are online, you can check that information with just a few taps of your iPhone screen. It eliminates the hassle of firing up the big machine, only to turn it off again when you discover ImDaMan555 isn’t available for that Halo 3 re-match you’ve been anticipating.
However, iXBox Live has its shortcomings. One issue is the amount of buddies you should add to your list, as an extensive list can slow down the application. (The creator recommends no more than a dozen.) Of course, the one way around that is to add the twelve or so gamers you play with the most. But what if you want to add a new buddy you just met playing Gears of War? What, do you have to rearrange your list so it’s The Ideal Twelve?
Plus, the fact that you need to put in each gamer tag manually is rather tedious. Ideally, it would be best to simply put in your own gamer tag information, and voila! You’re set. However, the developer states that the Microsoft XBox Community Developer SDK is limited (going back to the aforementioned selective gamer tag issue), thus, the app becomes less convenient than intended.
A common complaint associated with iXbox Live is how buggy it is. Some users say they are unable to access their buddy list at all, as the app is prone to crashing. It is a new app, and the developer has promised more features to come in future releases.
Which leads to possibly the biggest problem with iXbox Live: it costs money. Yes, it’s one cent under a dollar. But what’s the use of paying for an app that has limited functionality, if any functionality at all? A better alternative would be 1337Pwn.com’s XBox Live Friends List Widget Version 2.5, which is worth a grand total of free and much more polished.
Or you can just make use of the iPhone’s Internet browser capability and log in to Xbox.com….