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While the first Android 12 developer preview may not carry too many new features compared to its predecessor on the surface, there is a ton of stuff hidden behind system flags, including a notification shade makeover, wallpaper-based themes, and an iPhone-style one-handed mode. But gamers are also in for a treat: The developer preview appears to lay the foundation for an in-game toolbar, as reported by XDA.
XDA Forums member and Android app developer Kieron Quinn managed to make the in-game overlay appear by some reverse-engineering, but for now, the UI remains pretty barebones. It consists of two non-functional buttons living in the bottom left corner of a game. One looks like a controller, and the other, slightly smaller one could be a record button. Presumably, you'll be able to enter some advanced game mode settings through the former, while the latter will allow you to record your session, as suggested by code in the Android 12 SystemUI.
XDA writes that the dashboard is part of the com.google.android.systemui class instead of the com.android.systemui, which could mean that the game mode will be Pixel-exclusive. But since many manufacturers already long have more advanced gaming modes of their own, that hopefully won't be a big loss. Hints at a game mode were originally spotted ahead of the first developer preview when a new "GameManager service" surfaced, though it's unclear how exactly the in-game dashboard and the game mode are related to each other as of now.
For more about the Android 12 launch, check out our announcement post detailing what's new here. If you want to install the developer preview on your own device, find out how in our Android 12 download guide.