Android Q is shaping up to be a gamer’s dream – here’s why

Google’s rolled out two new Android Q features bespoke made for mobile gamers in its latest developer update.

The new AudioPlaybackCapture and Thermal APIs were spotted by eagle eyed writers at XDA Developers on Sunday and could be used by devs to add a couple of super cool new functions to Android apps.

The AudioPlayBackCapture mode will be of particular interest to streamers. The feature is designed to let third party applications record other app’s audio. As it stands, while Android can natively grab screenshots and there are ways to capture video, it’s tricky to include the in-game audio.

Most apps the let you do this actually record audio from the phone’s mic, which isn’t ideal and hinders sound quality. The update should fix this and make it easier for game and streaming apps to natively capture games audio.

“Android Q contains a new AudioPlaybackCapture API. This API gives apps the ability to copy the audio being played by other apps. This feature is the analog of screen capture, but for audio. The primary use case is for streaming apps that want to capture the audio being played by games,” explained the Android developer release.

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The Thermal API aims to make it easier for app makers to monitor and intelligently react things like CPU and GPU temperatures.

“When the device reports thermal stress, apps and games can help by backing off ongoing activities to reduce power usage on various ways,” explained the Android Developer release.

“For example, streaming apps could reduce resolution/bit rate or network traffic, a camera app could disable flash or intensive image enhancement, a game could reduce frame rate or polygon tesselation, a media app could reduce speaker volume, and a maps app could turn off GPS.”

This sounds small, but it could help them better optimise games to avoid performance issues, like throttling – where a component heats up to the point it stops performing optimally. This is a particular problem on demanding mobile games, like PUBG, which put a lot of strain on the CPU and GPU.

The issue is a key reason many “gaming phone” makers choose to load handsets with custom cooling systems, like the Razer Phone 2’s vapour chamber and the ROG Phone’s air cooling peripheral.

Mobile gaming is a growing market. Since Razer released its first gaming phone numerous companies have followed suit, including Huawei with the Mate 20 X, Asus with the ROG Phone and Xiaomi with its subsidiary Black Shark 2 handset.

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