Android game devs are getting new tools to make their lives easier

Android is home to thousands if not millions of apps and games but very few of those can be considered on par with iOS counterparts. Even discounting the innumerable clones on Google Play Store, the quality of some apps, especially games, are a hit or miss. Part of the solution is actually finding out where the performance problems lie and Google is now giving developers some tools to help provide them with some insight so that they can better fine-tune their games to accommodate the equally myriad Android phone configurations out there.

Games live and die by their framerate, even those that are meant to be played casually and leisurely. Poor or low framerates make the experience feel slow, jagged, and forced. Framerates are mostly determined by how much content is being fed to the processor (GPU or CPU) and how well those processors are able to keep up with the stream of data.

Profiling this performance is an important aspect of game development but Android developers don’t often have easy access to such a tool. They often have to resort to third-party software to get metrics, which is why Google is now releasing the Android Performance Tuner for all developers, allowing them to target almost all Android phones in the market today.

That’s not the only way Google is giving game devs a leg up, though. In Android 11, for example, developers will be able to install APKs larger than 2GB+ faster when using ADB. Google Play is also expanding its features like Play Game Services’ new social Friends list.

Following the recent announcement of the new Play Asset Delivery, Google seems to be giving Android gaming the long-overdue attention it deserves. Mobile gaming, after all, has experienced a jump in the past months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the platform’s shortcomings when it comes to gaming have only become more apparent because of it.

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