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AV1 codec update coming to Android for better video playback

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Most applications including Netflix, YouTube, inbuilt video players, and more on Android devices, play AV1 videos using the operating system’s libgav1 software decoder. Due to the lack of hardware, most smartphones still use h.264 or h265 codec, which is not as efficient as AV1 in terms of video playback performance.

Therefore, to offer users better and smoother video playback a new AV1 codec update coming to Android. According to the information of Mishaal Rahman, Google is planning to push an update to Android phones that could dramatically improve AV1 video playback on budget devices.

Google is expected to release the AV1 codec update to all Android devices, which means the optimization for video playback will also come to budget Galaxy smartphones such as Galaxy M, F, and some A series models.

However, currently, there’s no information available about when Google will roll out the libdav1d decoder. While the tipster suggests that, the company might offer it with the March 2024 Google Play System Update.

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What is the AV1 codec

AV1 is an open, royalty-free, next-generation video coding format from the Alliance for Open Media. It was designed to succeed Google’s VP9 and compete with H.265/HEVC. AV1 can provide 30% bandwidth savings compared to VP9 and HEVC and drastically improves visual quality at equivalent bitrates.

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Android

Android 15 to boost wireless charging with NFC support

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Android 15 NFC wireless charging

Google plans to introduce support for NFC Wireless charging (WLC) with Android 15. This feature is a significant development for charging small electronic devices. Unlike the widely-used Qi wireless charging, NFC wireless charging does not require large coils, making it ideal for devices with limited internal space.

With the Android 15 update, NFC wireless charging is expected to become more common in smaller devices such as earbuds, styluses, smartwatches, and tracker tags. This support will enhance user convenience and device functionality.

Announced in 2020, the NFC Wireless Charging technology uses antennas that are reportedly smaller than one centimeter. These antennas are versatile, serving both as a means for wireless charging and NFC data transfer. This dual functionality is particularly beneficial for smaller devices.

The slow adoption of NFC Wireless Charging in the market has been attributed to a lack of support from major operating systems. However, the recent Android 15 beta release indicates that Google is now integrating NFC Wireless Charging capabilities into the Android platform. This move could lead to an increase in WLC-enabled accessories.

This feature could transform the charging of devices like tracker tags, which could use NFC for both power and data, and styluses that comply with the USI 2.0 specification.

Android 15 might allow Google Play to update your phone’s NFC

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Android

Android 15 expands default wallet app choices

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Android 15 wallet choices

Google has recently released the first beta version of Android 15, which brings a significant update as lets users select a preferred app to serve as their default wallet application. This feature enhances the system’s flexibility, allowing for a personalized choice of NFC payment apps.

Previously, Google Wallet was the default NFC payment app on Pixel phones. With the new update, users have noticed that the AMEX app is also compatible with this setting.

This change is also expected for various payment apps to become the default wallet app on Android devices. Google explains that wallet apps are designed to store essential items like credit cards, loyalty cards, and even car keys, facilitating different types of transactions.

This update is notable because it differs from Apple’s approach on iOS, where alternative digital wallet apps are not allowed. Previously, Android hasn’t blocked third-party wallet apps but this new default setting will make it easier for users to integrate these apps into their payment processes, giving them more options and enhancing the overall user experience.

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Android 15 might allow Google Play to update your phone’s NFC

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Google’s upcoming Android 15 update is set to bring a transformational change in the way NFC technology is updated on smartphones. The company promises to reduce the complexity of operating system updates with Android 15. Notably, the NFC feature offers contactless payments and data transfer.

Back in 2019, Project Mainline was introduced by Google to address the challenge of updating the Android operating system across various devices. Project Mainline allows Google to update essential parts of the operating system directly, bypassing the device manufacturers. This method simplifies the update process and ensures that all devices receive updates simultaneously.

With the introduction of Android 15, Google plans to increase the number of updateable modules from 37 to 40 within Project Mainline. The addition of the ‘com.android.nfcservices’ package is significant because it includes the NFC stack.

Android 15 NFC update

The presence of the NFC stack package along with two other packages indicates that Google is preparing to add these as new modules to the project mainline. Although it has not yet been confirmed whether these will be included or not.

As Android 15 gets closer to its release, it’s clear that Google is working towards a more unified Android experience. The ability to update the NFC stack directly through the Google Play System is a step that provides users with a more consistent and secure operating system.

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