There is a lot of evidence that Google is working on a game mode for Android 12, and although the company has not activated it completely in beta yet, it is now anything but official. During the Google for Games Developer Summit, the company revealed that the new game mode is called “game dashboard”. It comes to “selected devices”
In the presentation, Google repeated what we already found out. The game dashboard will be an overlay that gives you access to relevant tools while you play, such as screen capture, recording, brightness adjustment and more. As previously covered, the relevant features will probably also include a rotation lock, a live streaming option on YouTube and a non-interrupt switch.
Hidden game dashboard in developer preview for Android 12 3. All photos via @MishaalRahman.
Google further confirmed that there will be game optimization options that game developers will be able to respond to. For example, users can choose to enable a battery saving option that lowers the frame rate. Game developers can then ask which mode is enabled and further optimize their games to use less battery. Conversely, there will also be a performance mode that uses more battery, and devs can also optimize against it.
Notice the frame disk on the overlay on the right. Both photos via @ kdrag0n.
The company encourages developers to get the games ready for the gaming tool by integrating the new game mode APIs and testing it on Android 12 beta, so we hope that an upcoming release will enable the dashboard for everyone, without requiring anyone hacks. Given that Google says it will only be available for select devices, it is certainly possible that only newer Pixel phones will get game mode in the first place, but the exact limitations and limitations are still up in the air.