Stadia 4.13 readies game-specific touch controls, 1440p mobile streaming capability
The latest Stadia app update, version 4.13, points to game-specific touch controls and hints of 1440p streaming on Android.
About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” article, we have decompiled the latest version of an app that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we are able to see different lines of code in that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not provide these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be flawed. We’ll try to activate the ones that are about to be completed, though, to show you what they’ll look like in the event that they ship. With that in mind, read on.
Game-specific touch controls
In recent Stadia updates, Google has been working on “enterprise” features, which have been tied closely to an overhaul of the touchscreen gamepad that Stadia offers when you don’t have a controller connected. With Stadia 4.13, rolling out now through the Play Store, Google is giving the best look at what’s in store for touch gameplay with new “enterprise” touch buttons.
Unlike previous iterations of touch controls which show the usual button designs, these buttons goal is displayed instead. For example, instead of showing the A button, you’ll see a graphic of a person jumping. Scrolling through the other examples included, we see a grenade for L1, a pistol for Y, and a bullet for R2.
Judging by the icons used, this seems like a pretty standard control layout for a first-person shooter. Combined with the previous hint for developer custom controls, we believe this is our first example of Stadia’s game-specific touch controls. That said, we believe the exact buttons seen above are meant to be a demonstration of what’s possible, and not a control scheme for use in a real game in the near future.
This corresponds to an effort by Xbox Game Pass streaming to create unique and stylized touch controls for supported games or simply hide controls not used by a particular game.
When playing Stadia games on desktop/laptop, if you have Stadia Pro and a screen above 1440p but below 4K, the web app is able to automatically deliver a native resolution stream of 1440p. On Android, however, there’s no option to stream anything above 1080p, despite the very existence of 4K-capable phones like those in the Sony Xperia series.
With Stadia 4.13, there is a new mention in the code of “UPTO_1440P” which could suggest that progress is being made to offer higher resolution via the mobile app. Such an addition would be perfect for the Pixel 6 Pro which features a native 1440p display. That said, it’s also possible that this code is intended for use by Stadia’s Android TV app, which in theory could also make good use of the slightly higher resolution.
There are also a few smaller projects going on in the Stadia app. For starters, Google is continuing to rework any use of the word “free” associated with Stadia Pro to read “no cost” or “no additional cost.” Nothing changes for Stadia Pro subscribers, but it does make Google’s wording a bit more specific.
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Elsewhere, we see that Stadia has started integrating a pair of new Flutter plugins, one that helps when accessing files on your device and another that’s used to play videos. So far, Stadia’s in-app capture player doesn’t seem to be affected by the change.
Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which some APK Insight teardowns benefit from.
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