Google Stadia 2.13 prepares touchscreen gamepad, more – ABOUT MAG 2020

Coinciding with the launch of the free Stadia tier yesterday, version 2.13 of the Google Stadia app arrived on Android. Looking at the update, we found that Google started working on the ability to play Stadia games with touch controls on the phone, in addition to initial support for Android TV.

About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we decompiled the latest version of an app that Google sent to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we can see several lines of code in this tip about possible future features. Remember that Google may or may not send these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. However, we will try to allow those who are closest to being finished to show what they look like if they are sent. With that in mind, read on.

Touch controls

One of Google Stadia’s promises is the ability to play on almost any device anywhere with Wi-Fi, but to play on your phone, you still need some kind of control. If you find yourself stuck somewhere with just your phone and out of control, you’re officially no luck. Not oficially, however, you can use a tool like TouchStadia to add touch screen controls to Stadia in Chrome for Android.

Possibly in response to the demand for touch controls, Google’s Stadia team started to develop its own version of a touchpad controller for Android. Like TouchStadia, it looks like the official touchscreen controller can allow you to customize the size and position of buttons and sticks.

TouchGamepadLayoutConfig.PositionPlacement
TouchGamepadLayoutConfig.DpadConfig
TouchGamepadLayoutConfig.ButtonConfig
TouchGamepadLayoutConfig.StickAreaConfig
TouchGamepadLayoutConfig.CenterTopPlacement
TouchGamepadLayoutConfig.StickAreaConfig.IdlePosition

Digging deeper, it appears that the official Stadia touch controller may have a significant advantage over TouchStadia, as the virtual L2 and R2 triggers can actually behave as triggers rather than buttons. This means that you can pull a trigger a certain distance, instead of always maximizing the pull, which can be especially important in racing games.

onDragRightStick
onDragLeftStick
onDragRightTrigger
onDragLeftTrigger

Android TV support

The arrival of Stadia on Android TV is not something that has been officially confirmed by Google so far. However, we follow the possibility as long as a Android TV script leaked that explicitly mentions a “Stadia integration” coming in 2020.

With the release of Stadia 2.13, we found tangible evidence that the development of Google TV support for Google Stadia is indeed underway. For example, according to Documents for Android TV developers, Android TV apps need to be marked as leanback compatible and do not need a touchscreen. These two items are now mentioned in the application code, along with a variety of changes to the manifest to prepare the “leanback launcher”, the internal name of the Android TV launcher.

android.hardware.touchscreen
android.software.leanback

Digging a little deeper, we even found the “banner” that the Stadia app will use when viewed on the Android TV home screen, looking exactly what you would expect.

Stadia banner for Android TV

That said, work still seems to be in its early days, so I wouldn’t expect Stadia’s Android TV app to be released anytime soon.

More about Google Stadia

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Paula Fonseca