Google wants you to play console-quality games on virtually any device you own. That’s the conceit of Google Stadia, a service that streams gameplay to your device as Google’s servers handle all the necessary processing. You will still have to buy games separately, but this might be the first truly capable cloud gaming service.
Stadia isn’t ready quite to beam those games to your Android devices just yet, but if you want to get a head start, the Stadia app is available to download from the Play Store right now.
The app will be your primary way of interacting with the service, no matter which device you use. The app will let you buy games, manage your Stadia account and controllers, and start gaming sessions.
You might not be able to play any games on Stadia until November 19th when the service launches, but the Android app isn’t totally useless right now. It will let you set up your Stadia account, provided that you have an invite code from Stadia Founders or Premiere Edition kits, or a Buddy Pass from a friend.
The Play Store listing reveals other features of the app, including a Home tab that displays your games with play buttons on top of them, and an Explore tab that will show community posts. YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, and Discord integration is also present in the app.
What’s interesting about the app is that it was built in Flutter, Google’s new SDK that lets developers create apps for multiple platforms at the same time, which means the iPhone app will likely look like the Android version. However, the app can’t be installed on Chromebooks for the time being, as Google is preventing it.
Once Stadia launches, you’ll be able to stream games to Pixel phones, but you’ll have to make sure you have an access code. The Stadia Android app, meanwhile, is available on the Play Store, while the iPhone version will be available to download from the App Store as soon as Apple approves it.