Google shipped quite a few updates this week, some of which are adding (or teasing) legitimate usability improvements, while others tend to be a bit more cosmetic. The new version of YouTube Gaming leans in the direction of the latter group, though some of its changes speak to subtle improvements for information visibility. There are quite a few little details and some of them aren't obvious unless you're looking very close.
Left: previous version. Right: latest version.
The first change stands out pretty clearly: it's a big new button in the title bar. Tapping on it will instantly launch the setup for live streaming from your own device.
Periscrope is Twitter's app for broadcasting live streams. Something's happening. You pull out your phone, you turn on the camera, and you show the world what's going on. Or at least the people who come across your account.
Since launch, the app has only supported vertical videos. But enough people have scoffed at this idea that the team is now introducing the option to turn your phone sideways. Landscape recording is making its way into the latest Android and iOS versions of the app.
Other additions include showing a list of mutual followers to pick from when you start a private video stream.
Have you noticed that it's impossible to search for a game-related video on YouTube without seeing dozens of hour-long "Let's Play" videos? You're not the only one. According to a report from The Daily Dot, Google is looking to re-make YouTube's live streaming service (the one you use for every official Android event) with a focus on video games. The report cites anonymous sources "within the streaming industry," so it's firmly in the rumor department for the time being.
DOTA 2 2014 World Championship Tournament. Image credit: Polygon
While there's no way to confirm the report, it certainly makes sense.
April 10th is the same day that the Galaxy S6 is scheduled to launch internationally (with US carriers following in the weeks after) so this date is hardly a coincidence. HTC wants you to see a shiny new HTC One M9 on display next to the Galaxy S6 when you head into the nearest carrier store.
It looks like the latest release of the YouTube app for Android has at least one more trick up its sleeve that escaped our notice in the APK Teardown. Reader Dan saw that when he opened up a live streaming video in the Android app, there was a new "Live Chat" option at the bottom. Tap the up arrow or slide the bar to the top of the window, and you can read the live chat going on in the YouTube channel. You can even participate, if you feel so inclined.
Live chats on YouTube live streaming videos are nothing new, but they were previously reserved for the desktop browser version of the site.
It's football time in America, and you know what that means: a mad rush to get all the infrastructure updated in time for opening day. The official NFL Mobile app is getting its first major update since the publisher was switched back in August. A nice list of new features is included, most notably the addition of our neighbors to the north in Canada. Everyone in Canada should be able to access the app with its scores and news, but only Bell Mobile TV subscribers will be able to watch live games.
If you subscribe to the NFL's Audio Pass for online radio broadcasts of games, you can now access the audio streams on any carrier or tablet, not just Verizon.
Were you hoping to gather 'round the flatscreen and Chromecast with your local Android Users Group for the live stream of Google's next Nexus event? Too bad: at the moment, YouTube live stream videos just won't work with Chromecast, as demonstrated by our tipster Nathan. We tried it using the Lollapalooza 2013 live stream, and sure enough, it just won't display.
This lack of functionality is documented in Google's support page as well, though the reason isn't clear. Videos set to "private" and videos disabled for mobile viewers are likewise inaccessible (remember that Chromecast is running a modified version of Android) no matter what device you "cast" to your TV, or from what account.
Do you have a spare 64 minutes and a burning desire to analyze every second of Google's latest press event? Alternately, did you miss the livestream and Sundar Pichai's dulcet tones because a faulty alternator stranded you at a truck stop for two hours? Then you're in luck, and so am I! The full version of Google's July 24th event has been posted to YouTube for your viewing pleasure.