A Developer’s Guide to Internet Explorer for Xbox

IE continues to get great reviews from developers and consumers, currently providing the best web browsing experience on Windows. Not only does it power the browsing experience across Windows Phone but following a recent dashboard update it is now available on your TV through Xbox.

Internet Explorer for XboxAs a web developer you are then able to identify someone browsing your site on their Xbox – you can detect ‘Xbox’ in the user agent string – then use media queries to then customise the presentation of your content for someone viewing on their TV taking into consideration that they may be interacting with your site using gestures, a game controller, voice or Xbox SmartGlass.

How should I customise my website for Xbox Internet Explorer?

So now that you can identify and customise an experience for the Xbox it raises the question, how should you treat that experience? Well, the folks on the IE team have put together a document for you that surfaces some of the differences between this version of IE and the PC version. It also discusses how you should think about customising the experience for the TV screen, considerations for the various methods of interaction available to Xbox users as well as technical considerations and guidance on debugging and testing.

Am I going to use voice commands and my Xbox controller to do my online banking? Probably not. However, I would likely use entertainment and information sites. I can see myself browsing online image libraries with family and friends. I can definitely see myself browsing the Halo 4 forums.

Take a 15 Minute Lesson

It is up to you to decide how much effort you should put into optimising your site for Xbox IE but to make the decision easier and better informed, head over to Microsoft dot com and read the Internet Explorer for Xbox Developer’s Guide.

Published by Spooner

Creative Technologist at Microsoft in the UK working in the Developer & Platform Evangelism group, he is at the forefront of emerging technologies being developed across Microsoft and champions their deployment to developers and digital agencies. His work is focused around mobile, the web and Natural User Interfaces.

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