The Google Game Developer Summit 2021 brought the announcement of a new feature for Android game developers that is meant to please mobile gamers. Called “play while downloading,” the new listing will allow Android 12 users to launch the game even before all game assets have been downloaded from the Play Store. This will be very useful for large games and applications that may take a few minutes, depending on the size of the application and the internet speed, to finish.
Google already has the Google Play Instant feature that allows players to try the game even without downloading it. However, this new feature changes the dynamics and promises more downloads, as the game is practically playable as soon as you hit the download button on the Play Store.
The Android App Bundle format that replaces the outgoing APK format also has an important role to play in this new inclusion. Since applications with this format will only download the most important parts of the application that are required, thus elevating the entire experience for Android 12 users.
The play while downloading BETA It is now available for Android 12 users (mostly game developers at the moment) to experience Early Access. Only apps with the new Android App Bundle (AAB) will work with the early access beta, which is a good way to test the format before it becomes a mandate for all newly released apps after August 2021.
Android 12’s new game overlay board will provide quick access to key in-game utilities, landing on select Android 12 devices later this year. Google Play Games will come with the Game Optimization feature in Android 12 settings to toggle between Performance, Standard, or Battery Saver options for supported apps.
The new tools launched in the Android Game Development Kit at the Google for Games Developer Summit will give developers the freedom to grow their games over time. This will have more APIs for games to “respond to user preferences” and Google is expected to announce more on this topic in the coming weeks.