Android Marshmallow calls out “Professional Audio” devices for the future

Chris Burns - Oct 20, 2015, 3:49pm CDT
Android Marshmallow calls out “Professional Audio” devices for the future

Google will be taking note of devices able to run low-latency audio (otherwise known as Professional Audio) starting with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. As we’re seeing this week in a new set of rules laid out for developers on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Google is hoping to find and list devices that have a certain set of requirements, listing said devices as having Professional Audio in their latest Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) release. This means we’ll be far more aware of which devices are able to play which files in the near future.

As located by Android Police, we’re having a peek at the Professional Audio requirements Google’s released for Android 6.0 Marshmallow. As it turns out, this system requires more than a couple of features on the host device – including a 4 conductor 3.5mm audio jack, of course.

Professional Audio

If a device implementation meets all of the following requirements, it is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to report support for feature android.hardware.audio.pro via the android.content.pm.PackageManager class [Resources, 70].

• The device implementation MUST report support for feature android.hardware.audio.low_latency.
• The continuous round-trip audio latency, as defined in section 5.6 Audio Latency, MUST be 20 milliseconds or less and SHOULD be 10 milliseconds or less over at least one supported path.
• If the device includes a 4 conductor 3.5mm audio jack, the continuous round-trip audio latency MUST be 20 milliseconds or less over the audio jack path, and SHOULD be 10 milliseconds or less over at the audio jack path.
• The device implementation MUST include a USB port(s) supporting USB host mode and USB peripheral mode.
• The USB host mode MUST implement the USB audio class.
• If the device includes an HDMI port, the device implementation MUST support output in stereo and eight channels at 20-bit or 24-bit depth and 192 kHz without bit-depth loss or resampling.
• The device implementation MUST report support for feature android.software.midi.
• If the device includes a 4 conductor 3.5mm audio jack, the device implementation is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to comply with section Mobile device (jack) specifications of the Wired Audio Headset Specification (v1.1).

Android Marshmallow update: every phone so far

Once these requirements are met, developers and hardware manufacturers will be able to work with the devices at hand using the Google-made Professional Audio Package Manager (aka android.hardware.audio.pro) to create a far nicer audio experience for users than on any Android device in the past.

At this time we’re not entirely sure whether or not Google’s newest releases – the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P – have the requirements as listed above. It’s entirely possible they do, but we won’t know for sure until Huawei, LG, and/or Google lets us know.

You can read more Compatibility Definition bits and pieces in the Google-hosted Compatibility Definition Document through Android dot com.


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