Not everybody is into live streaming gameplay, but for those that are, and particularly those that play a lot of games on Android, this week's update for YouTube Gaming was a pretty big deal. It brought much-needed support for recording and live broadcasting your screen directly to YouTube. While the update is significant for the features we now have, it also happens to include some signs for a few more things we can expect in the future. We can see a few of YouTube's newer features are going to hop over to the gaming side, including background playback, offline playback, and even Cardboard support. There are even a couple of great jokes meant just for teardown readers.

Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. There is always a chance that details may change or plans may be cancelled prior to the launch of a new feature discovered in a teardown. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it's officially announced.

Background & Offline Playback

Few features have taken longer to go from teardown to reality than YouTube's background and offline playback. Fortunately, it looks like YouTube Gaming won't keep us waiting quite as long. While these features are still missing, most of the strings and settings have flooded over from the main YouTube app, suggesting we can probably expect to see them sometime in the next couple of releases.

<string name="background_and_offline_settings">Background &amp; Offline</string>

<header android:title="@string/background_and_offline_settings" android:fragment="com.google.android.apps.youtube.gaming.settings.BackgroundOfflineSettingsFragment" />

Most of the text matches up pretty well with YouTube, so there's no reason to assume there will be any differences in function or new features to speak of. Nevertheless, there are surely a few people looking forward to these options. I have my doubts that background playback will get much use, given the nature of the content, but offline storage for gameplay videos might be pretty great for the right situations.

strings

<string-array name="background_audio_policy_entries">
<item>@string/background_audio_policy_on</item>
<item>@string/background_audio_policy_on_if_hh</item>
<item>@string/background_audio_policy_off</item>
</string-array>
<string-array name="background_audio_policy_values">
<item>@string/background_audio_policy_value_on</item>
<item>@string/background_audio_policy_value_on_if_hh</item>
<item>@string/background_audio_policy_value_off</item>
</string-array>

<string name="background_and_offline_settings">Background &amp; Offline</string>
<string name="background_audio_policy_off">Off</string>
<string name="background_audio_policy_on">Always on</string>
<string name="background_audio_policy_on_if_hh">Headphones or external speakers</string>
<string name="background_audio_policy_value_off">off</string>
<string name="background_audio_policy_value_on">on</string>
<string name="background_audio_policy_value_on_if_hh">on_if_hh</string>
<string name="background_play_is_on">Background play is on</string>
<string name="background_play_settings">Background &amp; Offline Settings</string>
<string name="background_play_tap_to_configure">Tap to configure</string>

<string name="add_to_offline_done">Video saved</string>
<string name="add_to_offline_not_enough_space">Not enough space to save video</string>
<string name="add_to_offline_start">Saving video…</string>
<string name="add_to_offline_waiting_for_wifi">Waiting for Wi-Fi to save. Visit Settings to reset.</string>
<string name="add_to_watch_later_done">Added to Watch Later</string>
<string name="add_video_to">Add video to</string>
<string name="add_video_to_offline">Save video offline</string>
<string name="add_video_to_offline_error">"Video wasn't saved"</string>
<string name="cannot_watch_offline">This video can’t be watched offline</string>
<string name="menu_offline_videos">Offline videos</string>
<string name="offline_adding_progress">Saving… <g id="progress">%1$d</g>%%</string>
<string name="offline_button_disabled">Offline Button Disabled</string>
<string name="offline_button_enabled">Offline Button Enabled</string>
<string name="offline_choose_quality">Please select a valid quality</string>
<string name="offline_details_tab">DETAILS</string>
<string name="offline_dialog_message_expired">"It's been a while since you've signed in, and your saved videos have expired. Want to restore all of your saved videos?"</string>
<string name="offline_dialog_title_expired">Saved videos expired</string>
<string name="offline_dialog_title_unavailable">Offline unavailable</string>
<string name="offline_fragment_title">Offline</string>
<string name="offline_icon_cd">Offline</string>
<string name="offline_paused">Paused… <g id="progress">%1$d</g>%%</string>
<string name="offline_playlist_progress_label"><g id="downloaded_count">%1$d</g>/<g id="total_count">%2$d</g></string>
<string name="offline_quality_option"><g id="offline_quality">%1$s</g></string>
<string name="offline_quality_option_with_size"><g id="offline_quality">%1$s</g> - <g id="offline_size">%2$s</g></string>
<string name="offline_remember_stream_setting">Remember my settings</string>
<string name="offline_stream_pending">Waiting for sync</string>
<string name="offline_video_deleted">Removed</string>
<string name="offline_video_quality_always_ask">Ask each time</string>
<string name="offline_videos_title">Saved videos</string>
<string name="offline_waiting">Waiting… <g id="progress">%1$d</g>%%</string>
<string name="offline_waiting_for_network">Waiting for network…</string>
<string name="offline_waiting_for_wifi">Waiting for Wi-Fi…</string>
<string name="pause_offline">Pause</string>
<string name="pref_offline_category">Save offline</string>
<string name="pref_offline_help_summary">Find answers to your questions about saved content</string>
<string name="pref_offline_help_title">Offline help</string>
<string name="pref_offline_insert_sd_card_summary">Insert an SD card to enable selection of location to save content</string>
<string name="pref_offline_insert_sd_card_title">Insert an SD card</string>
<string name="pref_offline_network_policy_title">Add over Wi-Fi only</string>
<string name="pref_offline_quality_title">Video quality</string>
<string name="pref_offline_storage_free"><g id="storage_free">%1$s</g> free</string>
<string name="pref_offline_storage_title_primary">Internal storage</string>
<string name="pref_offline_storage_title_sdcard">SD card</string>
<string name="pref_offline_storage_used"><g id="storage_used">%1$s</g> used</string>
<string name="pref_offline_use_sd_card_summary">Save videos to the SD card</string>
<string name="pref_offline_use_sd_card_title">Use SD card</string>
<string name="remove_offline">Remove</string>
<string name="remove_offline_confirmed_button">Remove</string>
<string name="remove_offline_video_message">"This video won't be available to watch offline."</string>
<string name="remove_offline_video_title">Remove from saved videos?</string>
<string name="resume_offline">Resume</string>
<string name="retry_offline">Retry</string>
<string name="retry_offline_video">Retry saving offline?</string>
<string name="watch_offline">Watch Offline</string>

It's worth noting that there were already a small set of strings for offline playback, but there weren't any entries for settings, and the sheer number of related strings in this release makes them significant.

Cardboard Support

Another YouTube feature making its way over to its Gaming offshoot is support for Google's virtual reality(-ish) Cardboard viewer. Added back in June, Cardboard support worked with 360-degree videos to add a bit more depth to the experience. It also served to give another little nudge to the Cardboard platform. Now it's going to make the hop to game-specific content... wait, what?

I don't know about anybody else, but I've never seen a 360-degree video of a game. It's completely plausible Google is just cloning features over to the YouTube Gaming app for the sake of completeness, but it's not hard to jump to capturing 360-degree video from within games. Imagine watching a replay of a first-person shooter and getting the opportunity to watch one player sneak up behind another for a kill. Any bets Unity is already working to add this to the SDK?

strings

<string name="vr_auto_quality_tooltip">Quality: Auto (<g id="value">%1$s</g>)</string>
<string name="vr_buffering_percent" formatted="false">Buffering <g id="value">%1$d</g><g example="%" id="percent_symbol">%%</g></string>
<string name="vr_click_to_recenter">Click to recenter</string>
<string name="vr_highest_quality_tooltip">Quality: Highest (<g id="value">%1$s</g>)</string>
<string name="vr_overflow_text">Cardboard</string>
<string name="vr_welcome_accessibility_cardboard_with_phone">Cardboard with phone</string>
<string name="vr_welcome_continue">Continue</string>
<string name="vr_welcome_dont_have_viewer">"Don't have a viewer?"</string>
<string name="vr_welcome_experience_vr">Experience YouTube in VR</string>
<string name="vr_welcome_get_cardboard_link"><a href="https://www.google.com/get/cardboard/?ytvrm=1">Get Cardboard</a></string>
<string name="vr_welcome_watch_videos">Place your phone in a Google Cardboard viewer. Select HQ for high resolution playback.</string>

A Couple Of Good Laughs

Google is known for being a fun company and it's not uncommon for Easter eggs and jokes to pop up in the web and Android apps on a regular basis. Some developers behind YouTube Gaming decided to include a couple of good jokes for us to smile about.

Missing Feature Message

Most of today's games never really end when you die, they just restart at the last checkpoint. Back in the early days, death meant you had to learn from your mistakes and go back to the beginning. For the serious gamers, we know the feeling of the Game Over screen, and now it might be the message we see if we're trying to do something the app doesn't support.

<string name="missing_feature_message">Game over. Thanks for playing.</string>

I don't see any real signs that the string is used anywhere in the app, so it's probably just a joke for us right now. Maybe it will make an appearance someday.

A Rare Pre-Order Opportunity

Battletoads!!! If you're too young to have played as Zitz, Rash, and Pimple, you missed out! Don't worry, Google is launching a pre-order for the brand new reboot!

<string name="battletoads_pre_order">PRE-ORDER</string>

Yeah, I'm f'ing with you. The string is real, but the game probably isn't. This is really just a reference to a prank from 2007. People started calling Gamestop stores asking to pre-order the new Battletoads to get a rumor started that a new one was on the way.

The rumor was a joke back then because nobody actually expected it to happen. The possibility of a reboot were recently revived when Microsoft renewed the Battletoads trademark it had acquired in the purchase of Rare. While there isn't a game in the works right now, there might be some hope in the future. It's been 21 years since the last Battletoads game, but we'd all love to see Zitz beat the crap out of a bunch of baddies in 1080p!

Download

The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.

File Name: com.google.android.apps.youtube.gaming_1.1.20.3-10120033_minAPI16(armeabi-v7a)(nodpi).apk

Version: 1.1.20.3 (10120033)