Microsoft debuts official Xbox LIVE client for iOS devices

Microsoft (s msft) may have launched its companion app for Xbox consoles on Windows Phone 7 devices exclusively, but it isn’t leaving iOS (s aapl) users completely out in the cold. The official My Xbox LIVE universal app, which works on both iPhone and iPad, is in the App Store now.

My Xbox LIVE doesn’t have the console-controlling functions of the Xbox Companion app, but it does offer gamers access to their Xbox LIVE account info, including game achievements, your 3-D avatar and friends management and messaging. In fact, if you don’t have a keyboard accessory for your Xbox controller, it makes chatting with friends, managing your friends list and setting Beacons, which alert you to when your friends want to do the same thing as you, much easier.

It’s actually a very handy little app, and it does a good imitation of Windows Phone 7 for people who haven’t experienced that platform’s interface yet. Sounds are taken straight from the Xbox itself, and despite a little lag when switching between some screens as the info is retrieved from Microsoft’s servers, it’s a pretty fun way to navigate content that’s kind of a chore to view on your console.

The app also includes a “Spotlight” section that presents you with video trailers and featurettes normally available through the console. It’s free, so if you’re an Xbox LIVE user, there’s no reason not to check it out.