Mobile gaming has become a big deal in recent years, thanks to an increase in both smartphone performance and user base. While developers only have to deal with a very limited amount of hardware targets when it comes to iOS, publishing games for Android requires optimizing for a wide range of devices with varying levels of power. Now a new library in the Android Game SDK will help developers improve the performance of their games on Android phones in a much more streamlined fashion.
Announced in a blog post today, the Android Performance Tuner gives game performance insights inside Android Vitals. The new library allows developers to measure and optimize frame rates and graphics performance on over 99% of the active Android device ecosystem. As long as a user's device runs Android 4.1 (API 16) and higher, this will be able to measure how well the game is running, including tracking how the frame rate performs throughout each quality level set by the game. Developers can easily implement this library as part of their games and watch the data from devices flow in.
Long story short, this will allow Android developers much more insight into how their games are performing on specific devices without having to resort to 3rd party metrics or home-built solutions. In theory, this will not only help to pinpoint areas that are too resource intensive, but also serve to underscore where a game might be able to use higher-quality graphics, since developers will be able to see how many devices could benefit without dropping frames. Google says the tool will highlight these areas as "opportunities" to improve the gaming experience.
The Android Performance Tuner is available now to start being integrated into games. It promises to be very helpful, especially to developers who haven't previously had access to powerful performance analysis metrics themselves. The blog post linked below provides a great breakdown of just how the tool will work in practice, how developers can implement it, and the kinds of actions it will enable them to take. Hopefully, this will mean a more predictable and overall better game performance situation on the platform.