Hands-On with Twitch for Android TV

Twitch, the video game live streaming service, was teased as one of the upcoming apps that would support Android TV at Google I/O. However, it wasn’t until months later that the app received an update on Google Play with an exciting changelog.

WHAT’S NEW

Couch potatoes rejoice! Twitch comes to Android TV.

Twitch banner
It now has a banner

With everyone rejoicing, let’s take a closer look at the app and how each part works.

App Navigation

The app uses the leanback interface, making it easy to switch between different categories or search among all streams. To login to your account, you need to go to a browser on another device and enter a particular code. This is a common aspect in several different TV apps, which does make it easier than having to type your password using a DPAD in front of everyone, but it can be a bit annoying to use two devices.

You can see featured streams and games
You can see featured streams and games
Or just pick a stream from one of the top games
Or just pick a stream from one of the top games

The interface keeps Twitch’s purple branding, using white as an accent color.

Search loads different categories of results
Search loads different categories of results

When you search for something, you’ll be presented with users, channels, and games in different rows that make it easy to pick exactly what you’re looking for. The top row is people, which is an interesting choice as I believe games should be the first category.

Watching Streams

Twitch Stream

After finding a stream, it starts playing. The screen is divided vertically. The stream itself takes up most of the room, but they have placed the chatroom off to the right so we can see what is being said.

Twitch quality

There’s a few options you can take with the stream by moving left and right. First, they do give users the ability to change the quality settings.

Twitch Details

You can make the video fullscreen, in case you don’t want to see what random users are chatting about. Also you can go to the details page for the stream which lets you look at related streams that may have happened in the past or are currently happening.

Conclusion

Twitch doesn’t have support for Live Channels, although that would be cool, but it has made a pretty robust app that lets viewers find the content they want in a number of ways including recommendations. Plus, it’s using the same Play Store listing as the mobile app which is great. Users won’t have to fumble looking for the correct version of the app. Instead, they know it’s just Twitch. If the store listing isn’t working for you, it can be sideloaded from APK Mirror.

Edit: A lot of users have been reporting that they can’t find the app in the Play Store. It appears like Twitch is doing a staged rollout, where only a certain percent of users will be able to receive the update, in order to test user response and fix bugs quickly. If you can’t download it now, and don’t want to sideload, you may just have to wait until the app is available for you.

Nick Felker

Nick Felker

Nick Felker is a student Electrical & Computer Engineering student at Rowan University (C/O 2017) and the student IEEE webmaster. When he's not studying, he is a software developer for the web and Android (Felker Tech). He has several open source projects on GitHub (http://github.com/fleker)Devices: Moto G-2013 Moto G-2015, Moto 360, Google ADT-1, Nexus 7-2013 (x2), Lenovo Laptop, Custom Desktop.Although he was an intern at Google, the content of this blog is entirely independent and his own thoughts.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterLinkedInGoogle PlusReddit