Android 14 may require smartphones to have AV1 decoding support

According to the AOSP Gerrit commit, Android 14 may require AV1 decoding support for phones.

AV1, a codec developed by the Alliance for Open Media, is a royalty-free codec that offers significant bandwidth savings in both VP9 and H264. Facebook Engineering conducted tests in 2018 and concluded that the AV1 reference encoder achieved 34%, 46.2%, and 50.3% higher data compression than libvpx-vp9, x264 high profile, and x264 main profile respectively. . This is a significant improvement for users who rely on slow connections and companies that run major video services such as YouTube, which can lead to significant cost savings. So the fact that Android 14 may require the device’s AV1 decoding support isn’t all that surprising.

Proof that AV1 is mandated on devices booting with Android 14 comes with a pair of commits from AOSP Gerrit. The first commit we found adds AV1 encoding to VideoCodecTest in the Android Compatibility Test Suite (CTS). CTS is a set of automated tests that validate compatibility with Android OS versions. If your device doesn’t meet the requirements outlined in the Android Compatibility Definition Document (CDD), it may fail Google’s CTS. As a result, you may lose access to Google’s suite of applications.


In addition to that, a second commit discovered by Psychics Add AV1 to the list of codecs that the device must be able to decode in order to pass. What’s particularly interesting about this commit is that it directly references Android 14’s unreleased CDD. This document has not yet been published by Google and will not be published until shortly before the release of Android 14.

As per Android CDD 14, sec 2.2.2 and sec 2.6,

Handheld and tablet device implementations must support AV1 decoding


There are still many flagship smartphones that do not yet support AV1 decoding, such as devices with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Interestingly, the Exynos variant of the Samsung Galaxy S22 can decode AV1, but the Snapdragon variant cannot. Notably, the latest generation flagship chips that were readily available, aside from less popular options like MediaTek and Exynos, didn’t support AV1, prompting Google to push OEMs to upgrade their devices to Android 14 based on AV1 compatibility. It’s strange to forbid to update. .

Assuming that Google is somehow pushing to make AV1 decoding and encoding mandatory, there are two possible points about what all this means. If only devices booting with Android 14 should support AV1 (this makes sense since Qualcomm has held onto AV1 for a long time and even the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 supports it) or , instead, devices can decode and encode via software.As Psychics According to the description, the decoding test only checks if the device can decode a single frame of AV1 video, not if it uses a hardware or software decoder.

Either way, this sets the stage for AV1 streaming to spread across mobile devices. As smartphones increasingly support codecs, streaming platforms are confidently implementing them not only to save on bandwidth costs, but also to help users who may have limited data connections. You will be able to We have reached out to Google for comment and will update this article if we hear back. We will continue to monitor and wait to see how this development forms.

sauce: AOSP Gerrit (1), (2 bugs Psychics)

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