28 July 2021
At the ongoing Games Developer Conference, Google has showcased two important game-related features for Android 12 devices. These are called Play as You Download and Game Dashboard. The first one is the main highlight as it will allow Android 12 users to play games while they are still getting downloaded in the background.
If you are someone who plays Android games quite regularly, you must have noticed that the file sizes for games have increased significantly in recent times. It is not uncommon anymore for games to be around 200-400MB huge and some even run into GBs. This is why downloading such games can be a boring experience as you have to wait until it gets completed. This is exactly what Google wants to change with the next Android version.
Google says all games that support this functionality will have the Install button featuring a lightning bolt icon. It is claimed that "games being ready to open at least 2 times faster". The whole process works in a way where assets needed to play the first few levels of the game get downloaded first. This way, the user can start playing the game much sooner while the remaining assets continue to get downloaded. The good thing is that Google has plans to make this an automatic feature for games without requiring developers to do anything different.
The second feature in the pipeline is called Game Dashboard. It comprises a bunch of gaming-related quick features like screen recording and capturing screenshots. It is similar to game modes that are already available on phones from various OEMs like OnePlus and Huawei. It will be up to games to choose what quick functions they want to see in the floating bar.