Slowly but surely, Google Stadia has been picking up new features, shaping it into a proper gaming platform. Version 2.29 of the Stadia app for Android has arrived in the Google Play Store, bringing with it signs of pre-ordering games, text messaging, and more.

About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

As a reminder, the Google Stadia app usually includes a descriptive text explaining the context that each string will appear in, to be used as a translation guide. Down below, you’ll typically see the descriptive text first, followed by the actual string seen in the app.

Pre-order Stadia games

One of the biggest selling points of Google Stadia is that once you’ve bought a game you can start playing it immediately. That being the focus, Stadia up to this point hasn’t offered pre-orders for any games, with the closest thing being the ability to pre-order the Destiny 2: Beyond Light expansion. With Stadia 2.29, we find a lot of preparation for pre-ordering games from the Stadia store.

Action button to pre-order an item in the store before release.

Pre-order

A header on the user’s transactions table on a row showing the price of the pre-ordered product.

Pre-order amount

The confirmation text as a toast after successfully finishing the preorder payment widget.

Pre-order successful

From what we can tell, pre-ordered games will appear in the “Purchases & subscriptions” page. More importantly, we learn that Stadia’s pre-orders — unlike most gaming platforms — can be easily refunded. In fact, it appears that your payment method may not even be charged until that game officially launches.

Title text for the dialog where user can confirm that they want to cancel their pre-order transaction.

Cancel your pre-order

Dialog body text for the dialog where user can confirm that they want to cancel their pre-order transaction.

This pre-order will be canceled, and you will not be charged when this game is released.

Text messaging

While some may roll their eyes at the idea of Google having yet another app with built-in messaging, Stadia, as a gaming platform, almost needs messaging capabilities. We’ve known for a few months now that messaging was coming to Stadia, and now Google appears to be taking another step closer with Stadia 2.29, which mentions the ability to resend a message if it doesn’t go through, as well as to receive notifications for new messages.

Status text shown alongside a failed outgoing message to let the user know it was not sent, and they can tap it to try again.

Not Sent. Tap message to try again.

The title of the notification channel used for messaging notifications. Shown in the notification system UI.

Messaging

The description of the notification category used for messaging. Shown in the notification system UI.

Messages sent to you by other Stadia players

We also find that Google is preparing to allow you to report Stadia players based on your chat history. If you report a player’s message, you’ll send Google a log of the last 20 messages shared between you to help better understand the context of the reported abuse.

Confirmation message shown before submitting abuse report when reporting from a text message

Your report includes up to the last 20 chat messages so we can get the full picture of what happened. If you don’t want to include chat messages, start a report from a player’s profile instead. We won’t include your Stadia Name if we contact other players.

Online statuses

Finally, Stadia 2.29 seems to internally rework Stadia’s “status” system used to indicate who is online, away, offline, etc. With the rework, Google has added two new statuses that players will be able to use, “Looking for Party” and “Streaming.”

Setting yourself to “Looking for Party” seems intended to be an open invitation for friends to shoot you an invite.

User is online, and is actively looking for friends to play a game with.

Looking for Party

Meanwhile, “Streaming” is used in the same way as the “Playing” status, to show your friends what game you’re currently streaming to YouTube. With time, perhaps Stadia will make it easy to start watching your friend’s stream when they go live.

User is live streaming their gameplay footage.

Streaming

As in “Streaming Tomb Raider”. Describes gameName user is live-streaming

Streaming

More on Google Stadia:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Kyle Bradshaw's favorite gear