At its Game Developer Summit, Google today announced a new feature for Android game developers that will speed up by almost 2x the time from starting a download in the Google Play store to the game launching â€” at least on Android 12 devices. The name of the new feature, â€œplay as you download,â€ pretty much gives away what this is all about. Even before all the gameâ€™s assets have been downloaded, players will be able to get going.
On average, modern games are likely the largest apps youâ€™ll ever download, and when that download takes a couple of minutes, you may have long moved on to the next TikTok session before the game is ever ready to play. With this new feature, Google promises that itâ€™ll take only half the time to jump into a game that weighs in at 400MB or so. If youâ€™re a console gamer, this whole concept will also feel familiar, given that Sony pretty much does the same thing for PlayStation games.
Now, this isnâ€™t Googleâ€™s first attempt at making games load faster. With â€œGoogle Play Instant,â€ the company already offers a related feature that allows gamers to immediately start a game from the Play Store. The idea there, though, is to completely do away with the install process and give potential players an opportunity to try out a new game right away.
Like Play Instant, the new â€œplay as you downloadâ€ feature is powered by Googleâ€™s Android App Bundle format,Â which is, for the most part, replacing the old APK standard