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Stadia Finally On Phones Not Made By Google, But Still No iOS Support

Illustration for article titled Stadia Finally On Phones Not Made By Google, But Still No iOS Support

Google Stadia is finally getting an upgrade...sort of. Google’s cloud gaming service is coming to a whole new slew of phones and for once they’re not Google-made ones.

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Google Stadia has had some issues. There’s been connectivity problems and communication problems aplenty. Yet when Stadia works, it really does feel like a magical future for gaming—provided you’re OK using Google products. Currently one of the more frustrating issues with Stadia is how few devices it works with.

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There’s the Windows 10 or macOS Chrome browsers—which are admittedly very handy—the Chromecast Ultra, and a small assortment of Google Pixel phones. By comparison, Nvidia’s GeForce Now works on nearly any Android device, and Microsoft Project xCloud, which is still in beta, works on any Android device running at least Android 6.0 with Bluetooth 4.0.

Stadia, which is built by the same company that maintains Android, seems kind of terrible in its support by comparison. However, starting this week Stadia will be available on 17 additional phones.

  • Samsung S8
  • Samsung S8+
  • Samsung S8 Active
  • Samsung Note 8
  • Samsung S9
  • Samsung S9+
  • Samsung Note 9
  • Samsung S10
  • Samsung S10+
  • Samsung Note 10
  • Samsung S20
  • Samsung S20+
  • Samsung S20 Ultra
  • Asus ROG Phone
  • Asus ROG Phone II
  • Razer Phone
  • Razer Phone II

That’s a lot of new devices to play on.

Notably absent are devices from Huawei and Apple. Huawei’s exclusion makes sense given the U.S. ban on tech companies working with Huawei. Apple makes a little less sense. Andrey Doronichev, Stadia’s director of product management, assured me that iOS support is definitely part of the plan.

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“We are excited about it,” he told me over video chat. “Just not yet ready to talk about it.”

iOS support is pointedly absent from nearly all cloud streaming services. When I asked Nvidia about the issue, its rep demured and suggested I ask Apple, while Google has repeatedly told me it’s happening but has refused to discuss timelines. Microsoft, meanwhile, quietly started an iOS beta for Project xCloud last week.

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If you happen to know more feel free to drop me a line at alex.cranz@protonmail.com or alex.cranz@gizmodo.com or hit us up via SecureDrop.

Senior Consumer Tech Editor. Trained her dog to do fist bumps. Once wrote for Lifetime. Tips encouraged via Secure Drop, Proton Mail, or DM for Signal.

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DISCUSSION

hippoposthumous
Hippoposthumous

They must have seen the Switch doing gangbusters with full priced, yet compromised ports in a portable package. Google would have needed a first party studio churning out killer exclusives for this to rate.

As it stands, I can’t imagine choosing this over xcloud plus gamepass or even a Switch.

The pitch is no console required. But in reality, games are so frequently on massive sales (not even taking gamepass into account), that a console is still the value proposition, all told.

These games aren’t designed for screens as small as non-note phones. The xcloud beta runs beautifully, but the experience of playing these games on a phone just isn’t great, at all.

This makes sense for a TV, which again, isn’t a great value proposition or an underpowered laptop on the go, which is a niche use case for console gaming. Nobody is talking about stadia. I'm not holding my breath.