Ever wanted to share the experience of watching someone else play Candy Crush Saga? Us neither, but that hasn't stopped Google from updating the YouTube Gaming app to enable live streaming from Android devices.
All you have to do is hit "Go Live" on the app and it will begin streaming the contents of your screen to the world at large. It will also use the front-facing camera on your phone to show viewers your face as you battle in Clash of Clans. Unfortunately the company hasn't specified what sort of impact streaming will have on your phone's battery or the amount of heat it generates, but we won't be surprised if it gets a little toasty if you're handling live video capture and rendered 3D simultaneously.
App by app
Sadly for iPhone users it is hugely unlikely the feature will ever make its way to iOS, as Apple doesn't allow developers the same level of access to its operating system that would make capturing video from the screen possible.
It is conceivable that individual apps could implement streaming facilities on an app-by-app basis, but this would obviously be more limited than Android, where any game can be streamed.
According to the official YouTube blog, the feature was added following feedback from gamers, who have also led to the app adding facilities to enable viewers to "sponsor" their favourite streamers, sending cash every month in exchange for "exclusive perks" like live chat badges and access to "exclusive chat sessions". This is currently being tested with a "small group" of testers but will soon roll out further.
YouTube Gaming is Google's attempt at aggressively taking on Twitch, which currenty dominates videogame streaming.
Officially launched at this year's E3, the service is specially segregated from the rest of YouTube and is presumably Google's hedge against Twitch (which is now owned by Amazon) changing its rules and going head-to-head with YouTube on other video content too.