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Google introduced “play as you obtain” on Android 12 gadgets so gamers can hop into cell video games and begin playing throughout a obtain. And it additionally mentioned Google Play now reaches greater than 2.5 billion avid gamers.
It’s all about decreasing the friction for gamers on the subject of taking part in cell video games — a subject that I lately wrote about in a DeanBeat column.
Google’s Google Play division made the announcement through the Google for Games Summit keynote at the moment, which might have usually taken place through the Sport Builders Convention in March. However the pandemic modified the plans, and Google broke it off from the online-only GDC that takes place subsequent week.
Sport firms corresponding to Utomik have achieved progressive downloads for the PC for some time, however Google’s transfer will allow the potential for a lot of extra cell recreation gamers.
Greg Hartrell, the product administration director for Google Play and Android, mentioned in an interview with GamesBeat that the brand new obtain characteristic drastically hurries up the obtain and play course of.
“It lets you get into gameplay in seconds from the shop itemizing whereas the sport continues to obtain within the background,” Hartrell mentioned. “It is a vastly improved consumer expertise in Android 12. We noticed 400MB video games turning into obtainable within the final 10 seconds as a substitute of many minutes. And that’s as a result of we’re streaming belongings intelligently within the background.”
On the obtain characteristic, Google additionally created Play Asset Supply to make sure gamers spend much less time ready for downloads with out sacrificing the standard of a recreation. Now, Texture Compression Format Focusing on robotically figures out what trendy compression codecs to make use of to additional scale back a recreation’s measurement.
Google Play additionally revealed different new options for Android avid gamers. They embrace a brand new recreation dashboard for gamers to rapidly entry vital settings whereas taking part in video games (i.e., having the ability to rapidly display file or regulate brightness, and so on.).
For builders, new Sport Mode utility programming interfaces (APIs) will allow them to adapt their video games extra rapidly to the preferences of their gamers (i.e., optimizing efficiency when they’re in a battery saving mode).
A protracted attain
Hartrell mentioned that Android has reached 3 billion month-to-month energetic gadgets, and Play grew to succeed in 2.5 billion month-to-month energetic customers driving 140 billion installations worldwide.
Google introduced instruments to make recreation improvement simpler, updates on a rising ecosystem to assist get video games operating on extra screens, and new alternatives to drive go-to-market success on Google Play.
On Chrome OS this previous yr, Google Play utilization grew 300%, marking its largest yr of app and recreation utilization because it launched Google Play on Chromebooks in 2016. Unity lately launched help for Chrome OS on Unity 2021.2, with help for Unity 2020 LTS coming later this yr.
“There’s a set of areas — Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, and Mexico — which might be are rising actually quick, with yr over yr spending at about 70% increased than the remainder. Altogether, it’s an incredible alternative,” Hartrell mentioned. “And a few individuals can assume that it’s all about cell, however it’s truly greater than that with Chrome OS as part of that story. It’s the second most-used desktop working system on the planet, with 300% yr over yr progress. Chromebooks began in 2016. It contains Android tablets as effectively, the place we’ve seen 30% progress yr over yr utilization.”
Different new options
Google additionally launched the Android Sport Growth Equipment, a full vary of instruments and libraries to assist creators develop, optimize, and ship high-quality Android video games. On this preliminary launch, AGDK covers three main areas.
- Built-in workflows (e.g., a brand new Visible Studio extension)
- Important C/C++ recreation libraries (e.g., the brand new Sport Textual content Enter library)
- Efficiency optimization (e.g., body profiler help in our GPU profiler and new loading time help in Android Efficiency Tuner)
In Android 12, the sport dashboard offers an overlay expertise with fast entry to key utilities throughout gameplay — like display seize, recording, and extra — and will likely be obtainable on choose gadgets later this yr. With Sport Mode APIs, builders can react to gamers choosing a efficiency profile for his or her recreation, corresponding to higher battery life for a protracted commute or efficiency mode to get peak body charges.
“Google is targeted on serving to each recreation developer make recreation improvement simpler, whatever the measurement from the most important recreation studios to unbiased sellers,” Hartrell mentioned.
The Combine Sport Mode APIs will likely be obtainable previous to the launch of Android 12 through beta releases.
Hartrell mentioned that “attain and gadgets” is a brand new information and insights instrument to plan for extra success on Google Play. It allows builders to know and predict the distribution of their customers and technical points throughout international locations and key system attributes (like Android model, reminiscence, graphics stack, and chipsets). Builders can use it to make the enterprise case for nation and system focusing on selections, to identify optimization alternatives, and to set take a look at priorities for the subsequent launch.
The Firebase Distant Config lets builders replace the habits and look of their recreation for various viewers segments with out releasing a brand new model. The brand new personalization characteristic is now obtainable in early entry through the Firebase Alpha program. It makes use of Google’s machine studying to robotically ship the very best expertise to every consumer.
Rankings and critiques
Rankings and Critiques within the Play Console now provide new methods that will help you perceive a recreation’s scores with views throughout totally different type components, the power to entry and question a recreation’s ranking historical past, and new historic ranking metrics.
Google additionally refreshed “preregistration” within the Google Play Retailer to be extra helpful. And now devs can use app campaigns for preregistration to construct larger pleasure for a recreation in open testing, or to drive these within the Play Retailer.
The brand new Play Integrity API is designed to assist builders combat abuse, corresponding to dishonest and unauthorized early entry, by serving to builders to find out in the event that they’re interacting with a real recreation binary, put in by Google Play, on a real Android system.
The progressive downloading tech can assist scale back friction, Hartrell mentioned.
“At Google, we’ve this previous precept that quick is best than gradual,” Hartrell mentioned. “Basically, if the product that they’re utilizing delivers on their wants sooner, it’s going to be a greater expertise. And in order that’s undoubtedly a mantra to reply your query round what we do to scale back friction.”
Hartrell mentioned Google has made positive aspects within the space of stopping abuse.
“These are a reasonably helpful instruments for builders,” Hartrell mentioned. “That innovation is simply one other instance of how we proceed to put money into that area. You need to have a way of figuring out that the system your recreation or your app is operating on is the real system, and that the account that the consumer is utilizing is a real account. And so I feel simply offering builders with extra insights, with extra functionality, to allow them to select how they need to take care of the abuse, is a giant a part of our philosophy. And it’s labored out fairly effectively.”
Final week, 36 states sued Google Play for not having an open sufficient ecosystem and violating antitrust legal guidelines.
As for the openness of Android, Hartrell mentioned, “The openness of the Android ecosystem is demonstrative of our philosophy. It stays the open supply challenge that we launched a few years in the past. It’s about openness, about freedom, about about alternative. And we’ve been actually glad with what’s been happening.”
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