The 'Phone Link' feature brings with it two main components:
- The ability to use your mobile device as a touch screen controller for Stadia on other devices.
- The ability to bridge connect a third-party controller to Stadia on other devices.
Utilizing the first feature will allow you to play Stadia with your mobile device as the controller. This is perfect if you need an extra controller while gaming on the TV or utilize a secondary controller while your main one is charging.
The second feature will allow you to connect controllers to your phone and then link them to your TV, specifically Chromecast devices. Utilizing 'Phone Link,' you can connect a third-party controller to your phone via wireless or a wired connection and then bridge connect it to your Chromecast.
Traditionally, the Chromecast did not play well with Third-Party controllers. However, with this new feature, you can use your favorite controller for Stadia gaming!
There is a pretty cool video by 9to5Google showcasing the new feature. You can find it below...
The 'Phone Link' feature does require that the Stadia application be open on your phone at all times. This, unfortunately, renders your phone unusable during your Stadia gaming sessions, but it will allow for more controllers to be used with Stadia!
One thing to note is that the new Chromecast with Google TV does support third-party controllers via a Bluetooth connection. This feature is likely aimed at those who use the Chromecast Ultra or use a controller that does not have Bluetooth connectivity.
This feature may not seem like a lot to some, as many will likely not use it. But, for those with a Chromecast Ultra or who require the ability to connect their controller via a different method other than Bluetooth, this will be a fantastic addition!
Any new feature is usually good news, and I cannot wait to see what Google brings next in the accessibility side of things!