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Android 12 lets users play games while they’re still being downloaded

The new feature lets you get into new games twice as fast.

genshin impact running on an iphone
Image: KnowTechie

Earlier this week, Google kicked off its Games Developer Summit, where the company unveiled a few new tools that developers can use to create games on Android and Chrome OS. One of the coolest features revealed so far is the new play as you download feature, which gets users into games much faster than ever.

Play as you download does exactly what it sounds like. Mobile games are becoming more impressive in terms of content and graphics, leading to an increase in size. Unfortunately, this means that once you find a game, you still might have to wait a while for it to completely download.

Play as you download looks to alleviate some of that wait time. With this feature, users downloading a game on an Android device can actually enter and play parts of the game while the download is still taking place. This means that you only have to wait a fraction of the time that you would previously have had to wait. Here’s a preview of what it looks like below:

This is not necessarily an entirely new concept. For example, video game consoles (PlayStation and Xbox) have had a feature like this for years. In those cases, games are generally much larger and can even take hours to completely download, making the play as you download feature even more beneficial.

Of course, most mobile games aren’t yet the size of console games, so the benefit may not be as great. Still, this is a nice new touch for Android 12 users looking to try out some new mobile games. However, the new feature requires Android 12, and the games must be developed using the Android App Bundle format to use certain technologies available on Android devices.

While this may not be a feature that every developer will utilize, it will still be a pretty handy feature. This will be a great way to get games in the hands of Android much faster than was previously possible.

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