Android 12 to add new PS5 feature to Google Play — and it's a game-changer for mobile gaming

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Android 12 is adding a new PS5-inspired feature that will excite mobile gaming enthusiasts, especially the impatient ones. At the Google for Games Developer Summit, one keynote unveiled that the search-engine giant had plans to launch a new Play As You Download (PAYD) feature for the Google Play Store.

PAYD will allow Android 12 users to start playing mobile games while they are downloading, so they don't have to wait for them to fully install before diving into the fun (via TechRadar).

Android 12 to add Play as You Download feature in Google Play

What's the number one reason for Google Play game cancellations? According to Google, it's long waiting periods for downloads. 

"Users have limited attention spans and want to play right away, so it's not surprising that any wait after discovery will hurt your acquisition funnel," Google Senior Product Manager Vitor Baccetti said at a developers' keynote.

Google acknowledged, however, that long downloads are inescapable if developers want to release high-quality games. As such, the search-engine giant plans to roll out a new PAYD feature to keep users engaged, allowing them to play sooner — even as game sizes get larger.

PAYD will let Android 12 users play games from the Google Play Store just seconds after they're thrust into download mode. "We're not talking about demos or tutorials," Baccetti said," but a true experience within your game." He added that titles will install the most essential content first, allowing Google Play users to jump right into the game. Meanwhile, the less significant assets will continue downloading in the background.

As TechRadar pointed out, this is a feature PS4 and PS5 gamers are already familiar with; the Sony consoles allow users to play games as soon as they press "Download" without needing to wait for the full installation.

Developers will need to opt-in to take advantage of PAYD, so not all games will support this new Android 12 feature. However, it's highly likely that most of the popular games (e.g. Minecraft, Among Us, Subway Surfers) will support PAYD.

Google hasn't yet announced a release date for Android 12, but some tech pundits predict an August or September launch.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!