Google teases a “transformational feature” for Android 12 and new game mode APIs
I/O is Google’s biggest developer conference each year, and this year’s event is where we saw the unveiling of Android 12. I/O isn’t the only Google-led developer conference that shares Android news, however. On Monday, the 2021 Google for Games Developer Summit kicks off with hours of keynotes spanning two days. Ahead of the event, Google has published the full schedule and has set up a premiere on YouTube for each keynote. While the schedule and YouTube premieres don’t reveal much info, they do tease several features coming to Android 12.
In the video description for the “delivery space updates” keynote, Google says it will “unveil a transformational feature for Android 12 devices.” Judging by the keynote’s title and the rest of the description, it seems this new feature will improve the user experience of downloading games. It isn’t clear from the description how this will be accomplished, so we’ll have to wait until Monday to find out.
“Users want to start playing right away, but as game quality keeps improving, their size increases, leading to long, dull downloads. Hear about our continuous investment in the delivery space and its impact on the user experience, as we unveil a transformational feature for Android 12 devices, announce new features built on top of Play Asset Delivery, and share partner success stories”, the description reads.
Another keynote will deliver information on new “Game Mode” APIs in Android 12. It seems that Google is preparing new APIs that will let games tune their settings to either maximize performance or optimize power use depending on the user’s preference.
“Gamers want to customize their experience for highest frame rate or greatest battery savings. Android 12 introduced new APIs for games to respond to user preferences. Integrate and test your game today to prepare for upcoming phone launches”, the description reads.
Once again, we don’t have additional details to share on these new APIs. However, it’s possible this is tied into the new game dashboard feature we first discovered in Android 12 Developer Preview builds. The game dashboard has a menu for choosing the game optimization setting, which includes a “performance”, “standard”, and “battery saver” mode. It’s interesting to see Google mention “upcoming phone launches” in the description, though, as it implies the feature may not be supported on all Android 12 devices. We’ll learn more about this feature on Monday.
In addition to the new “delivery space updates” and Game Mode APIs, Google is teasing that it will also introduce a new frame profiler for the Android GPU Inspector, new C/C++ libraries for the Android Game Development Kit, and new tools to help game developers secure their game from cheating, tampering, and other forms of abuse.