Google has revealed that the forthcoming Android 12 will allow users to play games as they are being downloaded. The intelligent download allows the most essential parts of the game to be downloaded first, so users can start their gameplay within seconds.
As users start playing, the remaining assets are are delivered in the background. To achieve this, Google said it crowdsourced the usual first-person player experiences which included memory access patterns, to automatically deliver the optimal assets required to load.
Google says it has seen games that were 400MB becoming available in 10 seconds as opposed to several minutes, alluding to a highly improved user experience.
The feature is made possible thanks to the Play Asset Delivery (PAD), which allows games exceeding 150MB to replace legacy expansion files via publishing a single artifact to Play with all the required game resources.
PAD lets game developers customise the delivery modes and the play-as-you-download feature is available courtesy of the fast-follow asset pack option. In other words, developers who are already using PAD won’t have to do anything to have the play-as-you-download feature enabled. More titles will be able to use this new feature in the coming weeks.
Google previously released a feature similar to this one in 2018, called Google Play Instant.
Other new updates include mic and camera indicators on the status bar, improved app startup as well as increased privacy settings where users can display approximate locations.