YouTube Gaming, the video network’s dedicated application for streaming and recorded game videos, and competitor to Amazon-owned Twitch, this morning announced an expansion into several more markets and a host of new features aimed at offering an improved browsing and viewing experience in its app. One of the changes will see the network more heavily promoting its “Live” game streams, which follows October’s launch of Mobile Capture – a feature that lets gamers directly stream from their Android devices.
In addition, Google says that its live stream player on Android will also now receive an upgrade to support quality switching, 60fps playback and DVR mode. These features were previously available on iOS and the HTML5 desktop player.
Other improvements, which Google says were based on user feedback, include a simplified homepage navigation that does away with the sidebars and added pages that make it easier to browse and manage your own games and channels.
On Android, users can also now pop out the YouTube Gaming player to keep it visible above the other apps on your device. That’s a handy feature for mobile multi-taskers – like those who want to play and watch at the same time.
Since YouTube Gaming’s launch last summer, Google has been steadily rolling out new features and functionality to better its Twitch rival and to more deeply integrate it with other Google-owned platforms and services, like Android and even Google Cardboard, the company’s low-cost VR viewer. And of course, YouTube Gaming benefits from being a part of the larger YouTube platform, where it can take advantage of other YouTube features, like the ability to flag videos to “Watch Later,” for instance.
As a part of today’s announcement, YouTube also said that the YouTube Gaming mobile app for iOS and Android was arriving in several new markets outside the U.S., including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland. These markets are home to a number of top gaming creators like jacksepticeye, Vanoss, and TypicalGamer, the company notes. More countries are on the way “soon,” says YouTube.