Google Stadia officially launched its free tier yesterday, bringing gaming to a brand-new market of folks who may not have considered it before. One thing many Stadia fans have been asking for, though, is Android TV support, which now appears to be much closer to a reality.

Last year, before Stadia had launched to its first wave of “Founders,” an internal Google road map leaked, revealing, among other things, that Android TV would be gaining a “Stadia integration” sometime in 2020. No doubt this integration would be designed to complement the coming 2nd generation of Chromecast Ultra built on Android TV, but should also extend to other Android TV devices.

Android 11 R/2020

  • Assistant for Operators GA (General Access) more partners & i18n (internationalization)
  • Assistant farfield reference designs, improved x-device targeting
  • Hero device advancing next-gen smart home UX, e.g. Lens, Camera
  • Expand homescreen and instream ads offering
  • Stadia integration
  • Reference video broadcast
  • 8.0k Apps

Coinciding with the launch of Stadia’s free tier yesterday, Stadia’s Android app got an update to 2.13, which our APK Insight team promptly dug through. Alongside signs of a touchscreen controller, we’ve found that a good bit of work has been done to prepare the app for Android TV.

Armed with this knowledge, on a whim, our Ben Schoon tried to sideload the latest version of the Google Stadia app onto Android TV and it worked! Technically, you can sideload just about any Android app onto an Android TV, but what makes this success exciting is that the launcher recognized this as a real Android TV app.

Stadia Android TV

Unfortunately, that’s as far as the excitement goes for now, as we were unable to get beyond Stadia’s “Get started” page using an Android TV remote. And even if we could, Stadia limits what Android devices can play games, making the app relatively useless for the time being.

All of that said, it’s incredibly exciting to see tangible progress on bringing Google’s gaming platform to Android TV. Based on the original road map, we should see Stadia arrive in the Play Store on Android TV sometime later this year.

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