During the Google Games Summit Keynote, the technology company announced updates to the Android gaming experience. For the most part, considering the development side of things, the updates will make Android a more useful tool for making games.
From the user perspective, the biggest news is the ability to play while downloading on Android 12. The feature allows users to start playing a game immediately without waiting for the download. Google claims 400 MB of games will take around 10 seconds to load, as opposed to minutes. A dashboard – with an easier-to-access screen capture and brightness adjustment ̵
At the end of the developer, game mode APIs will help devs respond to selected user settings, such as low battery mode or top frame rate selection. Devs will also get a new analysis tool that will help predict the reach of users and technical issues by location. Another tool – Rating and Reviews – will be another bridge between devs and players, and communicate feedback from players.
Firebase Remote Configuration allows devs to change the look and behavior of a game for a different audience set without releasing a completely new version. It is available in early access at the moment. Pre-registration has also been adjusted to be more useful, and the Play Integrity API will help strengthen the security around a game, and ensure that there is no unauthorized early access.
Google has been focused on bringing more games and developers to both the mobile product – Android – and its own streaming service. Stadia has undergone a turbulent start to 2021, with news that Google laid off most of its Stadia game development team. Stadia CEO Phil Harrison explained that Google wanted to focus on console technology first and foremost instead of developing games for it. Google has not completely given up on the console: The technology company announced that “more than 100 games” will come to Stadia in 2021.