Future Android Version Will Allow You to Play Games Before They’re Fully Downloaded

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With rapid development in graphics engines and the addition of new features such as ray tracing, game sizes have shot up by quite a bit. That holds true even on the mobile platform. It is not uncommon for some graphically intense games such as PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile to breach the 2GB barrier. Downloading such large files can be troublesome for users on slower networks, and the process can sometimes take hours. Some companies such as Blizzard and EA let you play games even before they're downloaded completely, and the functionality could come to a future version of Android.

XDA Developers stumbled upon a change in Linux's kernel submitted by a Google employee. The feat will be achieved via what is called an Incremental File System. It is a “special-purpose Linux virtual file system that allows execution of a program while its binary and resource files are still being lazily downloaded over the network, USB, etc.” This will “allow running big Android apps before their binaries and resources are fully downloaded to an Android device.”

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It'll work by downloading data packets an application needs to run first, like the ones that contain a game's intro file. While the file is running, it can call for subsequent packages required to run the application. If some block hasn’t fully downloaded, filler blocks will be loaded in advance, so that the application doesn't stop dead in its tracks.

Google is testing the feature on the Pixel 4XL, and it appears to have been in the works for over a year. However, the feature is still very early in its concept and it'll be years before it makes its way to Android. We could expect to see it by Android 12 S, at the earliest. By then, Android games will have breached the 5GB mark, so the feature will be a godsend for many.

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