The Android GPU Inspector is now in open beta with support for the Pixel 4 on Android 11
At the Google for Games Developer Summit earlier this year, Google first showcased a new Android Studio tool called Android GPU Inspector. The tool is designed to help graphics engineers optimize their games’ frame rates and power use for supported GPUs by giving them access to the render stages and GPU counters. Back then, the tool was only available in a limited developer preview to a few game studios, who had started testing it on the Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Galaxy Note 10, and Galaxy S10. Now, the Android GPU Inspector is available in open beta for all game developers.
In a recent post on the Android Developers Blog, Google announced the Android GPU Inspector Open Beta for its Pixel 4 devices running Android 11. Game developers interested in trying out the tool to optimize their games can download Android GPU Inspector here, and then follow the setup instructions provided in this post. Since Android GPU Inspector relies on updated firmware and video drivers to get the information it needs, it’s currently only available for the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL running Android 11. However, Google is working with device manufacturers and SoC vendors to enable support for more devices.
Quantifying the performance benefits achieved as a result of optimizing games with the Android GPU Inspector, Google noted:
“Working with Blizzard Entertainment Inc. and NetEase, Inc., AGI helped pinpoint 45% vertex bandwidth savings for the upcoming Diablo Immortal, a dark gothic action RPG game…Working with King, AGI helped improve GPU frame time from 11-16ms to a stable 8ms for the upcoming Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!, allowing the game to reduce battery drain and run faster for a smoother experience…In collaboration with Jam City, AGI helped reduce GPU frametime by 45% on World War Doh: Real Time PvP.”
For the unaware, the Android GPU Inspector is designed by Google in collaboration with Qualcomm. The tool supports most GPUs found in Android devices today, including the Adreno GPUs in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoCs. Thanks to the partnership, Android GPU Inspector allows developers to share feedback directly with Qualcomm and help the company optimize Adreno GPU software drivers. Qualcomm will also give some developers access to a beta driver so that they can quickly test their optimizations, after which the final driver will be released for select devices through the Google Play Store. Considering that ARM’s next Mali GPUs will also support updateable drivers via the Google Play Store, the tool could also benefit devices with MediaTek, HiSilicon Kirin, and Exynos chipsets.