YouTube 14.31.50 for Android adds phone screen live streaming support
Google branched off YouTube Gaming from regular YouTube back in August 2015, aiming to create a gaming-oriented app for videos and live streaming that could compete against the likes of Twitch. One of these competing features was the ability to screen cast your phone’s screen to the service, allowing video game content creators to directly live stream from their devices. But of course, since this is Google, the company decided to shut down the service, arguing that the gaming platform was causing confusion for the audience and that the division between the services split the reach of both the apps. While the Gaming app was shut down, the regular app did not integrate all of its features, such as the aforementioned phone screen live streaming feature.
With YouTube for Android v14.31.50, Google has finally added in the screen cast feature from YouTube Gaming to the regular YouTube app.
Under YouTube Gaming, the ability to livestream gameplay directly from your smartphone without needing additional hardware was called “Mobile Capture”. As one can see on an earlier archive of Google Support’s page, Mobile Capture was available within YouTube Gaming, for devices running Android Lollipop and above. This support page has now been updated to reflect that functionality is now present within the regular YouTube for Android app. The requirements for mobile live streaming have been raised though, as you now need an Android device on Marshmallow or above. Plus, your YouTube account also needs to be eligible for mobile live streaming, which further involves having a “Verified” channel with no live stream restrictions and at least 1,000 subscribers. You also need to enable the ability to live stream from the desktop YouTube site.
The ability to live stream directly from mobile will be appreciated by content creators for the flexibility that it brings along. However, the restrictions around the feature prevents amateur channels from trying out this feature. One can argue that larger channels are much more likely to already have dedicated equipment for live streaming, so the utility of this feature may remain limited in scope.