Google confirms: the audio latency in Android has improved a lot

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Most mobiles in Spain have greatly improved their multimedia experience in recent years. Large screens are much more prevalent than a few years ago, and sound technologies have also improved dramatically.

Beyond the use of double speakers for stereo sound, increasing the volume or dynamic range there is an area that often goes unnoticed but that plays great importance in the user experience, such as sound latency.

Sound latency has improved dramatically in recent years

Latency is a measure that has several uses in the field of technology, but they all start from the same assumption. It is a measure that indicatesThe delay that has a certain action. When you play an online video game, for example, it is the time that elapses between when you press a button and the action occurs in the game.

It also has a great impact in the multimedia field. If you watch a video on your mobile and the audio latency is high, you will notice that the action happens completely out of sync. An example would be with an action movie, in which you see an explosion and later hear it. The feeling is not entirely pleasant.

Google confirms: the audio latency in Android has improved a lot 1

Android has had a problem with sound latency from its origins. We are not talking only about headphones with bluetooth technology, but about the latency of your mobile’s speakers or the headphone jack. It was a problem to be solved by Google, and in a moment of reflection it seems that in the last 4 years the situation has drastically improved.

Google confirms: the audio latency in Android has improved a lot 2

To verify this, Google has considered those that were the most used mobiles in 2017 and the most popular in 2021. Taking an average we see that the average latency in Android has decreased from 109 ms to 39 ms, which is the average of the most popular mobiles of 2021.

As anecdotal data, in the graphs we can see that the high-end is almost extinct among the most popular mobiles of 2021, so we cannot blame the improvement that people now buy more expensive mobiles as the main reason, because it is the opposite. Another interesting fact is that the only popular high-end in 2021 is the Galaxy S8, with an audio latency of 28 ms demonstrates the great improvement of Samsung from the S3, which had 258 ms of latency.

What has happened in these 4 years to improve audio latency so much

Google confirms: the audio latency in Android has improved a lot 3

  • 2016: Google begins working directly with manufacturers to reduce latency.
  • 2017:The AAudio API for high-performance sound is here.
  • 2018:Oboe is here, a library written in C ++ to achieve better sound performance.
  • 2020:The OpenSL sound library is deprecated.
  • 2021:Oboe exceeds 4,000 million downloads.

Google confirms: the audio latency in Android has improved a lot 4

A fact that Google has wanted to highlight that apparently has nothing to do with the global improvement is the arrival of the Google Pixel 3A. This mobile becomes the first mobile to achieve a sound latency of 10 ms, a degree of excellence that seemed impossible to achieve on Android.

The Google entry confirms it: the audio latency in Android has improved a lot, it appears first in The Free Android.