Jul 12th, 2021

While we continue to await the arrival of the third Android 12 Developer Beta, Google announced some new changes today that will take effect when Android 12 is released this fall. Today’s announcements come courtesy of the Google for Games Developer Summit, which is taking place today and tomorrow.

In today’s announcements, Google introduced a new feature aiming to get you into your favorite games faster than ever before. ‘Play as you Download’ is similar to the Instant Apps that you might have seen over the years. But instead of waiting for a game to finish downloading, you can jump in and start playing.

This isn’t something that will likely work with larger games like Dead Cells or Genshin Impact. But if you want to play some puzzle games or something like Touchgrind BMX, this new feature is perfect. If a game is compatible with ‘Play as you Download’, a lightning bolt icon will be visible showing you that you can begin playing while letting the rest of the game download in the background. Once the download has reached a certain level, the Play icon will turn green, allowing you to launch the app.

Google claims that this will allow games to be opened “at least two times faster”, which is pretty great if you just want to quickly download a game to kill some time. But to go along with this, developers will need to make use of the Play Asset Delivery System. On the bright side, if developers are already supporting this, they won’t need to do anything else.

Another new feature coming to Android 12, is one that we’ve seen in the last few beta and developer preview releases. A new Game Dashboard will provide quick and easy access to features like screen capture and recording. This will also allow you to put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode as soon as a game is launched.

The Game Dashboard is not anything really earth-shattering, as we’ve seen other phone makers implement similar features for years. OnePlus, Samsung and even RedMagic have these game dashboards available. But Google has confirmed that this feature is coming to “select devices” later this year.

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