Stadia 3.38 has begun rolling out to Android devices via the Play Store, and in it, we’ve found “playability tips” to help improve your connection, along with a hint at deeper support for the Stadia Controller in the Android TV app.

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.

Playability tips

One of the bigger downsides of Stadia and cloud gaming in general, for some, is the requirement for a stable, high-speed internet connection. Those who are tech savvy likely already know some of the best ways to keep a solid connection while playing games on Stadia.

For everyone else, Stadia 3.38 includes the beginnings of something called “Playability Tips.” It’s not clear where these will be shown, whether as a new help menu, as tips shown when your connection is noticeably unstable, or as advice given to first-time Stadia players.

For now, the tips are relatively simple things that every Stadia player should know to maximize their connection quality.

Ethernet is more stable than Wi-Fi

Switch to Ethernet if you can

Switch to 5 GHz Wi-Fi

This router setting can improve gameplay

Stadia Controller in Android TV

One interesting tidbit that shows up in Stadia 3.38 is a new internal feature flag, which appears to actually be for the Android TV app. This is possible because Stadia’s Android and Android TV apps are both written with Dart. While there’s no other information attached with it, the name of the flag alone speaks volumes.

enableGothamInputOnAtvPlatformUi

For context, “Gotham” is the codename for WiFi-based input for Stadia, most notably from the Stadia Controller but also from the recently launched Phone Link. Meanwhile, “Atv” is shorthand for “Android TV” which would also include Google TV devices.

As of today, Stadia’s Android TV app has a limitation of the Stadia Controller only being able to control certain parts of the app like navigating your library and playing games. Judging from this feature flag’s name, it seems Google may be working on a way for Stadia to pass your controller input through to Android TV so that “native” parts of the app can be navigated with your controller too.

At this point, it’s unlikely that the Stadia Controller will be able to work outside of the Stadia app, simply because that would likely require a significant amount of work to Android TV itself. We’ll keep an eye out for this enhancement to appear in future Stadia for Android TV updates.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.

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