Android 14: Google wants to implement the AV1 video codec and that’s good news

Android 14 should be released as stable release around August or September 2023, but the first beta should be available in April, shortly after developer previews. Therefore, we will know pretty quickly what to expect with the upcoming update. Meanwhile, XDA Developers may have an interesting clue about the next major release of the mobile operating system.

The special post has identified several commits in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) that suggest that support for the AV1 video codec will be mandatory by a smartphone in order to indeed be able to natively request Android 14.

Making AV1 mandatory from Android 14 looks ambitious

According to these contributions, the AV1 encoding will be added to the VideoCodecTest of the Android compatibility test procedure. If, after testing, a device is determined not to meet Android compatibility requirements, it may fail the pass exam to access Google’s app suite. That doesn’t quite close Android’s doors, but ask Huawei how it’s done outside of China without the notorious Google services.

A second commit seems to refer directly to Android 14, adding AV1 to the list of codecs a device must be able to decode to pass Google’s tests, adding more weight to that theory.

Note that AV1 is a royalty-free video codec developed by the Alliance for Open Media (so no license payment required). It is much more efficient than current market standards such as VP9 and H264, thanks to a much better optimized compression technology that saves a huge amount of bandwidth.

Google is laying the groundwork to promote the adoption of AV1, which will be very useful especially for YouTube. It is not possible for already released smartphones to be devoid of Android 14, this possible obligation only applies to new products released directly under Android 14. Very few smartphones are currently AV1 compatible. For example, the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC supports it, but not its predecessor.

Source : XDA Developers

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