Report: Android TV Remote Control App Will Transform Your Phone into a Gamepad

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 24 Mar 2016

Android is determined to make Android TV a viable gaming platform. Easy access to a gamepad is one way to do that. It appears the company wants to put one on your smartphone. According to an A teardown by Android Police, an Android TV remote control app update will allow you to transform it into a gamepad. While you can’t beat physical buttons when playing a console game. It would at least make it easy to have friends over to play. Without the need to pony up for a bunch of controllers. This would be more viable with a platform like Android TV. Which generally has more casual games geared toward shorter bursts of playtime. The teardown also found icons for three modes; a D-pad, trackpad, and gamepad. There’s also code that indicates using a phone’s accelerometer, which would allow you to tilt to steer during racing games.
An icon for a D-pad, trackpad, and gamepad hint. What type of gaming functionality is coming to the Android TV app.

Some other snippets include new volume control for voice response support for TVs with sleep mode. The code is from the update to the Android TV app. But there’s no indication of when such functionality may go live. So if you have an Android TV setup, be on the lookout for this.

Why this matters: Android TV hasn’t exactly taken off compared to Apple TV. Still, the strategy is more about getting the software inside smart TVs. Gaming has also been a focus, though it’s been better executed with set-top boxes like the Nvidia Shield. Virtual gamepads on phones are often subpar, but they could expand the pool of players for certain types of games.