New gaming-focused features were revealed this week by Google for Android 12 and the future of Android in general. Android 12 will deliver a large collection of features to devices when released in its full form later this year – for now, it’s out in Beta form for those brave enough to take advantage of early-release software. If you’re a fan of having access to games as fast as possible, the new “play as you download” feature in Android 12 for Google Play might be right up your alley.
Google built this new play as you download feature into both Android 12 and the new Google Play file packaging format. This feature works with Android’s Incremental File System, allowing users to start apps before they’ve downloaded the entirety of said apps – once all the must-have elements are in place.
UPDATE: Developers can sign up for a Play as you download BETA before the feature goes live for all users. This feature will require that users have Android 12 on their phone, and will require that the apps be packaged with the new Android App Bundle format that’ll be standard on Google Play soon.
Staring in August of the year 2021, new apps and games published to the Google Play app store will be required to use the Android App Bundle format. Google reconfirmed this week that they’d be depreciating legacy APK expansion files (OBBs) starting from August of 2021 as well.
Google released a new game dashboard tool and gaming mode APIs this week for developers. Google Play Games will have a “Game Optimization” feature built in to settings in Android 12, allowing the user to choose Performance, Standard, or Battery Saver for games that’ve successfully integrated the latest formatting for Android 12.
They also release tools to allow Android game developers to grow their games over time. Above you’ll see more updates from Google on gaming as broadcast by Android Developers this week. This segment outlines new APIs for games to “respond to user preferences.” Stay tuned as we keep an eye on other new features revealed by Google this week for Android 12 and beyond!