Twitch Beta Tests Desktop App, Reveals Navigation Changes

Twitch released a new beta of the Twitch Desktop App (which is an updated and rebranded version of the app formerly known as Curse) and offered a sneak peek at a planned navigation update to its website that promises to make it easier for you to find the content you care about on the service.

Twitch acquired Curse in August 2016 to "help provide gamers with the tools and resources they need to achieve the ultimate gaming experience" and "help gamers connect, interact, and share information with one another." The beta Twitch Desktop App for Windows and macOS serves both of those functions by letting you watch streams, chat with other gamers, and make free voice or video calls. (You can download the app from Twitch's website.)

The Twitch Desktop App lets you sign in with your Twitch or Curse account when it's launched. Afterwards, the app gives you the option to merge your accounts if you signed up for both services before it takes you to the main action. The app is clearly meant for existing Twitch users--although there's a Discover tab in the navigation bar, it's little more than a search page that pales in comparison to the media-centric homepage of the Twitch website.

Speaking of Twitch's website: The company announced that it's rolling out a navigation update to "a portion of users next week" and to all users "in the coming weeks." A video featuring product director Tom Robertson and design director Alexis Galissá offered a little information about what to expect.

The site's homepage will now center on Pulse, an "always-on way to share clips, stream highlights, schedules, photos, and more" that debuted on March 6. Twitch also introduced a new top navigation bar that collects the Games, Communities, Channels, Videos, and Creative tabs currently in the left-side menu into a single Browse option. That left-side menu will now focus on a list of currently online streamers who are followed by you or your friends.

Galissá said in the video that the redesigned interface will also head to Twitch's desktop and mobile apps, but he didn't say when that might happen.

For now, if you're looking for something to watch on Twitch, you can always tune in to the weekly-unless-we're-at-GDC-and-PAX Tom's Hardware Twitch stream. We'll be offering an early look at the multiplayer gameplay of Mass Effect: Andromeda at 1pm PT today so you can learn more about the game before its March 21 release.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • Th3pwn3r
    Hmm, I never knew Tom's had a Twitch stream. AWESOME!
  • WhyAreYou
    Tom twitch stream? Awesome
  • ubercake
    Now if Twitch (Amazon) could put some pressure on Comcast to quit with their expansion of the data caps then more people would be willing to stream...