As the 2022 Google for Games Developer Summit kicks off this morning, the company detailed its latest efforts and tools for Android developers.

Play as you download” was introduced alongside Android 12 to let end users start a game without having to endure a long install. A small download upfront lets you start playing as the remaining  assets are fetched in the background. Google analyzes crowdsourced “first-play experience filesystem access patterns” to identify which assets to optimize. 

This feature is currently in beta, but Google will “soon open it up to all Android 12 users.” Developers can sign for the beta here.

Elsewhere on the “Easier to bring your game to more screens” tentpole, Google reiterates that Android app usage on Chrome OS grew 50% in 2021 and reveals this growth was “led by games.” For 2022, Google has a handful of Developer Summit sessions about Play Games for PC and shared additional looks at the client:

On the tools front to improve high-quality development, Google has updated the Android Game Development Extension (AGDE) to allow for debugging between Android Studio and Visual Studio so that developers can open and edit AGDE projects in Android Studio’s debugger. Additionally:

  • The new Memory Advice API (Beta) library added to AGDK helps developers understand their memory consumption by combining the best signals for a given device to determine how close the device is to a low memory kill.
  • We’ve fully launched the Android GPU Inspector Frame Profiler to help you understand when your game is bottlenecked on the GPU vs. CPU, and achieve better frame rates and battery life.

Elsewhere, the Google Play Partner Program for Games was announced. It provides “additional growth tools and premier service” to the largest developers/studios, specifically those with “more than $5M USD annually in games consumer spend.” Benefits include:

  • Enhanced business support from Google Play
  • Faster releases with a priority publishing queue: Conducted on a best-effort basis. Typically, processing will take less than 24 hours, but in some cases, including sensitive app categories, it may take longer.
  • Insights into device attributes across the Google Play device ecosystem
  • Enhanced pre-launch tools like pre-registration testing, access codes, and store listing experiments for pre-registration campaigns
  • Growth and engagement features like LiveOps and additional custom store listings
  • Pre-enrollment of top eligible titles into Google Play Points
  • Additional integrity and security protection including automatic approval for Play Integrity API usage that scales to the game’s needs, without quotas
  • Invitations to eligible early access programs
  • Active development of new features

The Play Console is also adding Google Play revenue and revenue growth distributions to “build revenue-based business cases for troubleshooting or device targeting.”

The keynote is streaming now, and sessions will become available after it ends.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: