If you have been loyal to Android for over a decade, Google is rewarding your loyalty with applaud-worthy quality-of-life updates to the platform. The latest Android 12 announcements have made owing a Pixel device more attractive while other aspects are getting vast updates. The focus is also on improving performance and this is where it has joined hands with Qualcomm.
Both Google and Qualcomm have figured a smarter way to update the Neural Network APIs via Google Play Services updates on millions of Android devices. The updates to the NNAPI will be downloaded automatically and installed in the background. The new driver updates will not only work with the new Qualcomm chips but also be backwards compatible with older platforms.
Snapdragon-based Android devices to get AI updates faster
“We are expanding updatable drivers in the AI realm for Snapdragon mobile platforms. Starting later this year, Qualcomm Technologies and Google will start offering regular updates for NNAPI. The drivers will be made available to devices via Google Play Services, it will automatically update in the background, and the updatable NNAPI drivers will not only work on the latest and greatest Snapdragon processors but will also be backward compatible with older Snapdragon processors as well,” says Qualcomm.
Qualcomm cites Google Assistant and Google Maps as examples that can take advantage of the new AI driver update rollout systems. Theoretically, this should result in faster and more pleasant experiences for app users around the world. Qualcomm says that Snapdragon-powered devices will be able to run faster with the updateable AI drivers.
It remains to be seen whether Google works with other chip manufacturers like MediaTek and Samsung to deliver the same advantage to a vast majority of non-Snapdragon-powered devices. Manufacturers like MediaTek are stressing highly on the AI performance of their Dimensity series chips.
Prior to this, Qualcomm made it possible to update GPU drivers via the Google Play Store. Qualcomm is updating its mobile chip range at a highly faster pace, with the latest one being the Snapdragon 778G and the Snapdragon 780G.
Google itself is joining hands with partners to improve its ecosystem of devices. At the I/O 2021, Google revealed its partnership with Samsung and Fitbit to work on Wear OS, the fruits of which are said to be increased battery life and a world-class range of fitness tracking solutions on Wear OS devices.