Since Stadia launched in late 2019, the Android app has been the farthest behind in its playability, simply because it lacked the ability to talk with friends and strangers via voice and party chat. Today, that’s changed.

While Stadia games have been playable on Android phones since the service launched in 2019 — albeit only on Pixel phones, at that time — it’s sadly been the worst place to enjoy Stadia, due to missing features like voice chat and live streaming. This was especially the case with 2020 being the kind of year where we sought out new ways to keep in touch with friends and family online rather than in person.

For most of the first year of Stadia’s existence, the Android app had a banner that said “Parties coming to app soon.” All the while, our APK Insight team has closely followed the development of party chat since May 2020, eagerly anticipating its arrival with each subsequent step closer it took.

Worse, a more fully featured Stadia app, complete with party chat and streaming, launched last year for iOS via the web browser. When this mobile web app was made available to Android gamers, in some ways it offered a surprisingly better experience than the native Android app.

As spotted by Gem Bear Gaming, Stadia’s Android app now has full support for party chat, including the ability to make a party, invite others to it, text chat, and even share a link to your current party via another app. The addition less than a day after Stadia players began spotting the ability to connect their headset for use with in-game voice chat.

More importantly, you can stay in party chat while doing other things on your phone. Stadia will put a “Party voice chat” notification in your tray, with quick access to returning to the party view and muting your mic. This means you can talk with friends via Stadia regardless of whether you’re actually playing anything. For example, if your Destiny 2 squadmates sends you a party invite while you’re out on an errand, you can quickly join up to let them know what’s up.

It’s taken far too long to get here, but Stadia on Android has finally taken a big step closer to achieving the dream of a full console gaming experience — which must include social features — anywhere you have an internet connection.

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About the Author

Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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