It could be part of the gameplay we hear about
This year’s Android 12 update is shaping up to be Google’s biggest release in years, judging by all the cool new features we’re finding. Earlier today, well-known XDA developer and friend of the site Quinny899 gave us our first look at the Android 12 hidden conversation widget, but that’s not the only feature he enabled. Thanks to a bit of reverse engineering, he managed to get the hidden feature of Google’s Game Control Panel to work. It’s currently extremely basic and only has a floating toolbar with two non-functional buttons, but it’s our first look at another new Android 12 feature.
As you can see in the screenshot below, there are two icon overlays at the top of the screen: a registry icon and a controller icon.
According to the code for Gaming Dashboard contained in Android 12’s SystemUI, the record button simply starts a screen recording session. That will come in handy when you want to record your screen without interrupting the game by pulling down on the Quick Settings panel. As for the button with the controller icon, we don’t know what it will do because it doesn’t work and there is no obvious functionality linked to it in the code.
Gaming Dashboard classes are part of the
com.google.android.systemui namespace instead of
com.android.systemui, which suggests that this feature may be exclusive to Pixel. However, many OEMs already have their own game mode features, and there is nothing in this version that stands out at the moment. Before the first developer preview came out, we learned that Google is working on a game mode for Android 12. We don’t know if this new Game Control Panel and the Game Mode we’ve heard about are the same , or if the former is simply a function built on top of the new GameManager service. However, we’ll probably learn more from the later Android 12 developer previews.