Thursday, 10 December 2009
The Xbox Social Takeover
So I finally got my grubby mitts on the latest Xbox 360 content and have been playfully messing around with Facebook, Twitter and Last.Fm (not Zune, because I don't do Microsoft points).
First impressions were fairly positive. The Twitter application is nice, clean and easy to use. It's got some nice little animations and the fact that your avatar is there is also a nice touch. The fact that I don't have a keyboard also proved to not be a problem, seeing as though Tweets are only 140 characters max anyway. I've used it for the past few days when my girlfriends been on my computer, and I like it. It's nice, it's quite fun to use and it doesn't feel pointless me using it despite my computer being literally 4 inches away from me. However there is only fault I have with it, and that's the fact that there's no way of telling if there's no tweets from the dashboard. If you could check them from the centre button dash? Now that would be good.
May as well start with the faults, seeing as though there's loads. Firstly there's no way to check for notifications on the dashboard (same as Twitter, but it seemed more of a no brainer for the Facebook app I feel), secondly it's an ugly little runt and thirdly it's completely impractical and slow. The dashboard effect is awful, and flicking between tabs is fiddly and time consuming. Not only that, but it goes completely against the style of the website and even the mobile versions. I would say avoid it and use a PC, or even a mobile. The only thing I found good about this was the ability to see who's on Facebook from your Xbox friends list (and vice versa) but even then I was done with that feature in under a minute.
Now this... this is something special. I'm a bit of a Spotify fiend, and Last.FM on the Xbox is pretty close to the genius of Spotify, if not better in it's own little way. If you've never used Last.FM before on the PC or Mobile, it's basically like a giant radio station without any DJ's. You simply select a starting point (which can be any manner of things, such as tracks from your Last.FM library if you already have an account, and it'll just play through all your scrobbles, or simply an artist or a genre of music) and the program simply plays through a whole manner of tracks, bands and genres. It's like shuffle, but you'll all always experience something new. Not only that, but 9 out of 10 times you'll like what you hear. Last.FM is flawlessly executed and a very welcome addition to the Xbox. In fact, as I sit here now, I have it on in the background. Although it may not be a replacement for Spotify just yet, it's certainly something I'll be using often. Especially if they allow you to use it while in-game like they did in the Beta.