For those interested in gaming, this week saw some very big news coming out of the Google camp. It had been reported for a while that Google was working on a sort of competitor to Twitch in where you can either watch other people's gaming antics or have your own streamed and watched. This week saw YouTube Gaming fully unveiled and released on to Android. That said, with Android TV's clear emphasis on gaming, YouTube Gaming was not released as compatible with Android TV. There is no dedicated app in the Android TV Play store and you cannot send the app from the desktop Play Store, which highlights that it is yet to be optimized in anyway for Android TV. This is somewhat disappointing when you consider the gaming power of Android TV. Not to mention, options like the NVIDIA SHIELD comes with Twitch support baked right into the device.
Well, one of the benefits of Android TV is that you can always sideload the app on to your device. To try and save you the time, we tried sideloading the app this week to see what sort of functionality you get. In short, not a great deal.
When the app is sideloading, if sideloading from the mobile app, the interface is certainly not optimized for Android TV and you will be left with just the mobile optimized display on your screen. That said, if you have a mouse connected to your Android TV device then you can navigate the app like you would normally, albeit, with a much reduced screen.
One fix for this, is that you can also install a screen orientation app (if you haven't already). Once installed, you can go into the screen orientation app and set the default to landscape. What this will do is force all apps to adopt a landscape setting. Once activated, the YouTube Gaming app will rotate and become view-able in a much more Android TV like experience.
Although, the downside here seems to be that you lose some of the additional functionality of the app. The menu disappears, as does the scrolling nature of the app. Therefore, in forced landscape mode you are resigned to watching the main game feed. Again, if you have a mouse, you will be able to navigate to the search bar and from here you can search for additional content to watch.
And this seems to be the only way you can get to additional content. Although, it is sufficient enough way to watch.
And once the feed is changed, you will be able to further use YouTube's built-in filter results.
And also access your own account details.
Although in truth, most, if not all of this can be done from the normal YouTube app or from your smartphone. Not to mention, using your smartphone and tablet will probably be much simpler, as you can just cast the content to the big screen via your Android TV device. This method will also allow you to retain the full functionality of the app. As such, it does look like YouTube Gaming is not ready for Android TV just yet. You can install the mobile app and run it as a mobile viewer, or you can rotate the screen and lose much of the functionality. However, it seems for the full version, unless a fix comes round, it is worth holding on until there is an official release of an Android TV version. If you would like to give the mobile version a try for yourself, then it is just a matter of sideloading. You can find a guide on how to do that by clicking here. The app itself you can just make a copy of the mobile app once you download it to your device. If you are unsure of how to do this, then you can download our APK by hitting the link below.