Pixel Shift continues!

But first, allow me to address the virtual elephant in the room.

With the incredible response to my Android 4.5 series (Part 1 and Part 2), the inevitable question becomes, “will there be a part 3?” The short answer? Yes. The long answer? Probably not for a little while. I have several ideas for how to continue the series, however, I’m going to spend some time further developing them. When the time is right, the Android 4.5 series will return. For now, though, I will be continuing on with other Android apps that need help.

So, allow me to segue into today’s post… Twitch!

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With the arrival of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as the continued growth of PC gaming, Twitch has seen explosive growth and is now the go-to place to view and broadcast live gameplay streams. Unfortunately, their Android app has been stuck in what I can only interpret as a mix between Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich UI styling. The app is neither particularly nice looking, nor easy to browse.

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First up, the Games screen. Twitch is all about games, so let’s emphasize that with large images of the various boxarts. It’s much more visually pleasing than the current list with tiny thumbnails.

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Next, Twitch is the perfect candidate to implement the now staple of Android design: the nav drawer. The application generally doesn’t have too many options, so it shouldn’t get too overwhelming in there.There’s simple links to the main areas of the app, including your own profile, as well as a handful of featured games.

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There’s two main parts of a Twitch live stream. First, the video stream itself (duh), and next, the comments. A cornerstone of the service is its community, so the live channel comments need to be front and center on every stream.

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Google surprised us all with the Chromecast last year, and recently they opened up the API to allow many more services to integrate it. Twitch is a prime candidate. Then, while you’re casting to your television, you can continue chatting on your device.

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Currently, if you want a great Twitch experience on a tablet you’ll need an iPad. The Android app is completely devoid of a tablet optimized layout. Thankfully, if done right, the experience can nicely scale to the larger screens. Twitch would be beautiful on today’s high resolution displays.

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Finally, similar to the phone layout, the tablet layout also focuses on the stream and chat with a layout that more intelligently utilizes the extra real estate.

Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for those of us on the “green-side” to receive an update. Twitch has incredible momentum so far this year with the launch of several new apps across many different devices. We could be next.

So, that’s Twitch for Android! As always, let me know what you love (or hate). Also, feel free to recommend other apps to get the Pixel Shift treatment. There’s the usual assortment of social links just below if you want to follow me, as well as a new RSS link for those of you that want to make sure you never miss another post again! Until next time, Internet.