Ahead of the Launch Night In event where Google is expected to take the wraps off their next Chromecast, the Stadia app has received an update to version 2.36 that includes work on adding your voice to captures, benefits for the referral program, and more details of how family sharing will work.

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.

Voice in captures

As of today, Google Stadia allows you to use the Stadia Controller’s built-in capture button to take screenshots or save a clip of your last 30 seconds of gameplay. However, part of what makes some moments worth capturing is your personal in-the-moment reaction.

Stadia 2.36 includes an interesting bit of text that will inform players that their voices can now be included when saving a clip.

Dialog title that announces a change to which audio is captured when a player saves a video clip while playing a game. The tone is informative.

Clips can now include your voice.

We didn’t find any other details explaining how this functionality works or if it can be disabled. Given the text uses the word “can,” it seems plausible this can be disabled either as a global setting or voice can be removed from a clip after it’s been saved.

Referral program benefits

In last month’s Stadia 2.32 update, we saw the beginnings of a recruitment/referral system for Stadia. At the time, the main benefit we saw of using the referral system is that those who sign up with your link are given the option to easily add you to their friend list.

With Stadia 2.36, the referral program has begun to take a more definite shape, thanks to tangible benefits. The recipient of a Stadia referral is given an extra month of Stadia Pro on top of the usual one-month free trial. More importantly, for every person who signs up with your Stadia referral link, you get one month of Stadia Pro for free!

Message that informs the user that their referral makes them eligible for an extra free month of Stadia Pro subscription.

You’re getting 1 extra month of Pro from your friend, plus your free trial offer.

Description on the social invites referrer page, explaining the benefit for the referrer.

Friends get a 1 month trial of Stadia Pro plus an extra free month by using your link. They can play instantly, no controller needed.

Get a free month of Stadia Pro when a friend signs up with your link and pays for their first month of Pro.

Unfortunately, there are two caveats to this referral program. As noted above, the free month doesn’t arrive in your account until your friend has paid for their first month of Stadia Pro.

Secondly, the free month benefits for both the sender and recipient only apply to players in the US and Canada. That said, the same bit of text also mentions “other offers” potentially being available in the future.

Message that informs the user that their referral is not eligible for an incentive due to country restrictions.

Your referral reward is not eligible outside the US and Canada, but other offers may still apply.

As for the referral itself, the Stadia app also includes a pre-written ready-to-share invitation to send to your friends and family.

Want to play games with me? Use my link for a 1 month free trial plus an extra free month of Stadia Pro, terms apply.

Family sharing

One feature that has long been promised for Google Stadia but has yet to launch is the ability to share games with your family members. Stadia 2.36 details exactly what can and cannot be shared between family members, and the most important and surprising tidbit we find is that games claimed with Stadia Pro can be shared with family members.

Text for describing what content is eligible for family sharing.

Share purchased games, add-ons, and claimed Pro games (your family won’t need a Pro subscription to play). Some content may not be eligible for sharing.

Another tidbit we find is that more than one person in a family group can choose to share their personal copy of a game. However, everyone will need to own the same set of DLC in order to share simultaneously.

Title for the dialog that shows up if the user is not able to share a game because someone is sharing with more add-ons.

Get add-ons to share this game.

Body for the dialog that shows up if the user is not able to share a game because some is sharing with more add-ons.

A family member is already sharing this game with more add-ons than you have. If you want to share this game too, first purchase or claim the same add-ons.

When looking into family sharing in the past, we’ve learned that Stadia will require that your Google family group to have a valid family payment method attached to the group. With Stadia 2.36, we find that this may be enforced primarily to make sure people who use family sharing are close enough to trust one another with a credit/debit card.

This helps verify that you know and trust that group.

Messaging

Another feature we’ve been watching develop is the ability to message your friends and other players from within the Stadia app. Despite seeming like it was nearly ready to launch about a month ago, Stadia 2.36 shows work on messaging is still ongoing, with new visual assets added in a “Messaging” folder.

In one bit of text, we find that you’ll need to manually enable messaging before you can send or receive messages. Relatedly, accounts belonging to children cannot set up messaging themselves, but must ask their parent/guardian to do so.

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

You can enable the messaging feature under “Messages” in the mobile app or on stadia.com.

Description explaining the user cannot set up messaging themselves and that a parent must do it for them using the parental controls.

Your parent will need to enable messaging through parental controls.

Stadia 2.36 also makes mention of a previously unseen feature for messaging, smart replies. From what we can gather, Stadia will give you one of three generic smart replies to help you quickly get back into the action.

The 1st smart reply suggestion to start a conversation that means a generic greeting.

The 2nd smart reply suggestion to start a conversation that asks if the player is ready.

Ready?

The 3rd smart reply suggestion to start a conversation that asks for an invitation.

Invite?

Google One benefits?

Lastly, within the code for Stadia 2.36, we find a mention of “G1_BENEFIT” near code for Stadia’s offers and free trials. It’s too early to say with any certainty, but we think this could indicate Google One (shortened to G1) subscribers getting an exclusive “benefit” for Stadia, such as an extended trial or perhaps a few free months of Stadia Pro. For now though, these are simply guesses, but we’ll keep an eye on the feature as it develops.

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