Will Android 12 change your gaming experience? Perhaps yes!
Folks using game controllers on their Android devices would agree that haptic feedback on wired and wireless controllers is a long way off from their console counterparts. Android games either have no rumble, or rather basic rumble support. XDA-Developers reports that will soon change. Updates to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) improving vibration control are likely to be deployed in Android 12.
Android API for game controllers lacks granular vibration control
As rightly pointed out by Nintendo Switch hacker and emulator developer bylaws, Android has an unsophisticated implementation of haptic feedback. The root cause being the lack of custom vibration effects and granular control of vibration intensity. This compels game developers to drop haptic feedback support entirely instead of delivering a sub-par experience.
'XDA-Developers' spots code changes for amplitude controlled haptics
Google announced its plans to change haptic feedback for game controllers in October. XDA has since spotted revisions to code improving these features. The updates will allow game developers to use custom vibration effects as well. There is hope Google will merge the changes just in time for incorporating them into Android 12, which is rumored to be rolling out in Q2 2021.
Step forward for mobile gamers, but not all controllers compatible
The improved haptics will only work if gamepads support force feedback under Linux. Most popular controllers do incorporate this functionality, but some don't. This is a big step forward for mobile gamers, who have been granted access to console-exclusive titles in recent times, thanks to cloud gaming services such as Google Stadia, NVIDIA GeForce NOW, and Microsoft xCloud.
NVIDIA SHIELD TV update adding support for console controllers
On a related note, NVIDIA's five-year old Android TV platform called SHIELD TV has something for gamers as well. With the 8.2.2 update, SHIELD TV users will be able to connect their Sony DualSense or Xbox Series X/S controllers to the SHIELD TV. NVIDIA SHIELD TV can now be used to play games as well through NVIDIA's GeForce NOW game streaming service.