For a few months now, we’ve been watching as the Google Stadia app prepares to add messaging capabilities. With the release of Stadia 2.32, Google seems to have put the finishing touches in place for messaging to officially launch, as well as UPlay+, a better recruitment system, 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.

Stadia Messaging

If you’re hoping to start playing with a friend on Stadia, right now you need to either an invite to a party and talk via voice or have a way to contact them outside of Stadia. There’s no easy way to shoot someone a quick message, or at least not yet.

Work on messaging has steadily progressed since we first spotted it, and with Stadia 2.32, we believe Google has included all of the nitty-gritty details for messaging to be ready to launch. For example, we find multiple new strings welcoming players to Stadia messaging.

Title on the onboarding screen that welcomes the user to the feature.

Welcome to Stadia messaging

Title on the onboarding screen that says the feature is now available

Messaging on Stadia now available

Further, we find a full onboarding process for Stadia messaging where you’ll be able to decide who can and cannot message you. During the setup, you’ll also agree to let Google temporarily see your messages, but only for the purposes of reducing abuse and toxicity in your Stadia inbox.

Description explaining that messaging needs to be configured on the mobile app or website before using.

To enable chat, you’ll need to visit settings or the Messages tab in the social menu from the mobile app or stadia.com to set a few things up.

Description explaining the Messaging privacy setting

Choose who can message you. You can change this again later in your privacy settings.

Title on the onboarding screen that allows users to set who can message them.

Messaging privacy

Description explaining the privacy impact of message scanning for anti-abuse measures.

With respect to your privacy, be aware that Stadia will temporarily store and process messages sent in order to identify potential abuse and to offer optional tools such as toxic language filters.

As you would expect, Stadia’s messaging will offer more than just one-on-one conversations. You’ll also be able to message larger groups of people, as noted in a few strings that reference a typing indicator.

Text displayed next to the avatars for the first 3 typing players in the conversation. So if there are 5 people typing, you would see3 avatars, and this string would be “+2”

A11y text representing an indicator showing that multiple people are currently typing.

Multiple people are typing.

The final pieces of the puzzle are two new visuals added to the app: an icon for when the Stadia app has a notification — a simple white version of the Stadia logo — and an animated typing indicator, which we’re not able to preview.

  • res/drawable-xxhdpi/ic_stat_logo.png
  • assets/production.assets/messaging/typing_indicator.flr

Stadia notifications

Beyond messaging, the Stadia app is also getting ready to offer a variety of (optional) notifications for gamers to stay connected to their friends and games. With Stadia 2.32, Google has added details for five different kinds of notifications you can choose to receive.

Description for the toggle that controls whether a user wants to receive notifications when they receive a multiplayer invite.

New game invites from other players

Description for the toggle that controls whether a user wants to receive notifications on new friend requests. Also includes friend request acceptance.

New friend requests and acceptances from other players

Description of Stadia features notifications so that users can decide whether they want to enable this type of notification.

Hear about new or improved features

Description of Stadia promotions and features notifications so that users can decide whether they want to enable this type of notification

Hear about sales, new games and add-ons, and other updates

Description of Stadia Pro games notifications so that users can decide if they want those notification types

Get updates about the games in Stadia Pro

We also find that, as you would hope, the Stadia app has a special flow for when you receive a notification while playing a game. Rather than sending a full Android notification, you’re shown the info on-screen and invited to press the Stadia button to get more details or respond.

Instruction to the user that they should press the button that looks like the shown button to view the contents of the notification.

Press [STADIA] to view notification.

UPlay+ in the Stadia Store

One of the more exciting things coming to Stadia in the future is integration with Ubisoft’s UPlay+ subscription. Where Stadia and Stadia Pro are more akin to a console, UPlay+ will offer something of a “Netflix for games” experience — or perhaps a “Peacock for games” since it specializes only in Ubisoft titles — allowing you to play whatever games are available in the service.

With Stadia 2.32, we find a dedicated string for UPlay+, which we believe will be used to describe a new category of games in the Stadia Store. With any luck, this could be a sign that UPlay+ is coming soon, but we likely shouldn’t use work done by Google as an indicator of when a service from Ubisoft could launch.

Ubisoft UPlay+ subscription service. This is a brand name and should be translated as such

UPlay+ games

Recruitment system

When Stadia first launched, there was a fairly direct recruiting system with Founders Edition purchasers being offered two Buddy Passes giving their friends or family three months of Stadia Pro access before the public launch. Since then, the invite system has been significantly simplified, offering you a simple text invitation to copy and paste, bringing them to the Stadia home page.

In Stadia 2.32, we see that Google may be working on a more personalized recruitment system. The important difference is that the new invitations will be connected to your account, allowing those who sign up to instantly send you a friend request.

Description on the social invites page about inviting friends to Stadia.

Anyone who gets your invite can see your Stadia Name, and friends who join with your invitation can send you a friend request to start playing with you right away.
Remember, friends don’t need a Stadia Controller to get started.

Restricted scene recording

Finally, Stadia 2.32 adds some new strings about what happens when your game goes into a “restricted scene” during a recording or streaming session. Essentially, these scenes will be completely blanked out from your streams and captures to help prevent the spread of spoilers or certain copyrighted material. More than anything, though, these strings are further prep for YouTube streaming to come to Stadia.

Notification title that appears over a game when the player reaches a scene that restricts screenshots, video captures, and live streaming.

Restricted scene

Notification subtitle that appears over a game when the player reaches a scene that restricts screenshots, video captures, and live streaming.

It won’t show in captures or live streams

Notification that appears over a game when the player finishes watching a scene that restricts screenshots, video captures, and live streaming.

End of restricted scene

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