Android 4.4 - KitKat Features Audio Tunneling to Save More Battery Power

Who doesn't love listening to music on their phone? I know I do it all the time. In fact, I'm doing it right now. But the thing is, even listening to music stored on your device, it can chew through battery power like crazy. I'm using the Galaxy Note 3 right now and just listening to a couple of hours of Google Play Music All Access, it uses a bunch of battery. Which doesn't make me too happy. But luckily, Android 4.4 aims to fix that, or at least make it better.

In KitKat, Google has introduced audio tunneling into DSP. So how does this work? Pretty simple actually. Instead of using the application processor to decode audio or respond to audio output requests, this responsibility is offloaded to the onboard DSP. The DSP is now much more efficient at such tasks than the CPU, and now Google is estimating that the amount of power used playing back audio on your phone could decrease by about 50%. Wowzers. Using the Nexus 5 as an example. Google stated that using local music streamed on the device. The Nexus 5 extended playback time from 30 hours to 60 hours with this new feature. Now that's something we can all live with.

However there's a downside to all of this. Currently, not all chipsets support this feature, and that the Nexus 5 is currently the only device device that can use it. Google says they are working with their chipset partners to get even more devices on board for this new feature. The thing is, the Nexus 5 uses the Snapdragon 800 chip, which is a pretty popular chip. It's in the G2, Galaxy Note 3, and a few more that are coming soon. So you'd think that it would work on those devices too, once they get the Android 4.4 update, right?

There seems to be a lot of new under-the-hood features in KitKat that we are going to love. But then some of them are only on the Nexus 5. Which kinda stinks. But we are breaking down each one for you. So stay tuned.

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About the Author

Alexander Maxham

Section Editor
Alex has written for Androidheadlines since 2012 as Editor of the site and traveled the World to many of the biggest Smartphone and Technology events. Alex has a background in Technology and IT and Deep Passion for Everything Android and Google. His specialties lay in Smartphones of all budgets, Accessories, Home Automation and more. Contact him at [email protected]