Android gets better Audio in Lollipop

Google Android to support class-compliant USB audio interfaces.

When it comes to audio performance, Android mobile devices have been a few steps behind their Apple counterparts. Android’s audio engine wasn’t initially optimised and latency figures were markedly higher than for iOS. Certain companies like Sonoma Wire Works have written software or worked around the limitations of the OS so you can now do audio based things like play synths, use DJ tools etc. without crippling latency. That’s the first hurdle cleared. The second, and more vital limitation with Android, especially for recording, was its inability to play nicely with third-party audio interfaces, which you’d need to get higher quality audio in and out of the device.

USB headset and speaker owners will love these next few commits:

  • b13d9ef : Enable multi-format usb audio output for Hammerhead [7]
  • 03de93f : Enabling USB capture for Hammerhead [8]
  • df82f27 : Add loudness enhancer effect in the default configuration file [9]

Finally, the Nexus 5 will have support for USB Audio [7]—both output andinput [8]. And once you plug your awesome USB audio equipment into your Nexus 5, you’ll be happy to find a new Loudness Enhancer [9] DSP mode mixed in amongst the stock audio presets.

Google brings low latency audio processing to Android L

Android phones and tablets already make pretty decent portable media players. But some of the best mobile apps for recording or creating audio are still iOS-only. That’s at least partly bbecause Apple’s smartphone and tablet operating system supports low-latency audio processing, something that’s been missing from Android… until now.

The next version of Google Android is due out this fall, and the Android L Developer Preview is already available. And it’ll include a number of audio enhancements, including support for real-time audio processing.


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