Twitch Desktop App: first look

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 17, 2017

Popular  game streaming service Twitch revealed its new beta desktop client on March 16 for the Microsoft Windows operating system.

First thing you will notice is that the client is quite large. The download has a size of about 80 Megabytes thanks to -- you guessed that one right -- Electron.

Second thing worth noting is that you can use the client only if you sign in with a Twitch or Curse account, or create one. The Twitch web service does not have that limitation. The data that you enter does not need to be verified however.

So, what is the Twitch Desktop Client then, and which features does it support?

Twitch Desktop Client

twitch desktop app

According to Twitch's own description, it brings all your "favorite communities, friends, and games" together in one place.

This means that the client's purpose is not to bring Twitch gaming streams to your desktop. Instead, it brings the community features of Twitch to your desktop (which may feature game streams).

The features look pretty much like a modernized version of IRC. You have servers that you can join, and servers have admins, moderators and the like which have more rights than channel guests.

People can post messages on servers they have joined, and interact with each other in several ways.

You may add friends to the app, and create your own server if you like. This works directly in the software without you having to spend money on that.

The server can be public, but they are not by default. Public servers appear in the discover queue, and anyone may join them.

twitch server

If you create a server, you get access to the admin panel to customize it. This includes setting the server to public, defining and modifying roles, adding members, banning users, planning events, and more.

You may also sync your server with your (Twitch) stream. If you enable this feature, and it is only useful if you do stream on Twitch, then you are assigning Twitch channel roles automatically to server members as they join, and it lets anyone watch the stream within the app.

Twitch's Desktop application for windows supports text messaging, but also voice and video calls. These calls are free as they are made within the app. Think of Skype but limited to people who use the app.

The general options list a lot of options. You can set up hotkeys for all kinds of things such as muting the microphone, disable the in-game overlay for compatible games, scan the computer for compatible games, disable the sharing of your activity, and configure notifications.

Closing Words

Twitch Desktop App is mostly useful to three types of users. First, to Twitch streamers who want to take advantage of the community features that it introduces on the desktop. Second, to Twitch users who are active in at least one community on Twitch. And third, to gamers, who want to use the application to manage a group of friends, or a game server.

Now You: do you use Twitch for gaming? Or something different?

Twitch Desktop App: first look
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Twitch Desktop App: first look
Popular game streaming service Twitch revealed its new beta desktop client on March 16 for the Microsoft Windows operating system.
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  1. explodingjoystick said on September 17, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    i liked the old twitch app not the new beta twitch app that lit is just a copy of a twitch website i loved the old curse client app so much better made but i have found a way to get curse back but i dont use it because it stoped working for me.

  2. SascheYa said on August 16, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    It still needs improvement, even at this date, like when used with smite , it will close and open again the call sesion when you enter the match loby, or they rekt working function of the original Curse like the share screen, if you try to share your screen the other person your talking to is gona see a black screen and you wount gona hear eachother until you start a new call sesion.

  3. Mascarado said on April 12, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    It’s a f’d up version of Curse app, with integrated Twitch that they eventually are making you merge your account with. They also screwed over curse premium users by taking their money and not refunding it. It’s bloated, is forcing people who use it to have twitch accounts. No one asked for this, and their feedback has hundreds in not thousands leaving. NO ONE WANTED THIS CRAPOLA

  4. CHEF-KOCH said on March 17, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    It’s an crap app, they always fuck up when it comes to apps. Look at the already existent apps like discord, reddit or their own ios/android app.

    There is no benefit of using it, beta or not but you have to open your browser for anything and then what’s the point to use an app?! I want an app to avoid all the Browser stuff to get a simple and easy to use client which provides all what I need. Especially if you stream you want an dashboard and other gimmicks to monitor everything and if this app can’t provide anything then just go the ‘better’ way with your Browser.

    I only can hope the app is open source so that someone else can pick this up and ‘fix’ what they can’t or are not willingly .. e.g. watch streams within the app instead of opening the browser.

    1. dfunckt said on May 11, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      I installed the app and then realized the same thing; it’s pointless if you are just a twitch viewer because it still opens the streams in your browser.

    2. Alex Moore said on March 20, 2017 at 2:05 am

      Precisely, I thought this was going to be a TWITCH app, it’s a Curse app with a view sponsored Twitch streamers available to watch. Bullshit. You have to view all the others on the website, no point.

  5. Anonymous said on March 17, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    I want to get off mr electron’s wild ride

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