Android has come a long way since the days of Cupcake. The fond memories of its truly early beginnings are long gone but not forgotten. Even though many of the areas where Android had been lacking in the past have been improved upon, and continue to receive improvements as more updates to the software come out, there are still areas that need some huge lifts that users have been waiting for. One of those areas is in the audio department. Quite frankly, audio doesn't sound that bad in some cases. Playing games, listening to music and even watching videos whether in YouTube or via one of the many other apps audio actually sounds pretty good. High quality audio is due for some upgrades and changes though and it looks like Android L is going to be the release that introduces those improvements.
Google went over this at the conference this past week in a session, and putting it as plainly as possible, the L release is going to make it so that audio is of a much higher grade and gets reduced audio input lag on a pretty wide scale. This may not matter much to the average consumer who doesn't pay attention to these small details, but for those who have a passion for HD quality audio and notice these key drawbacks of the OS, this will be doing wonders to bring Android forward in this particular area.
As explained at the conference, currently the audio pipeline on Android runs through 16-bit PCM almost entirely, but with the release of Android L the audio pipeline will be getting a much needed upgrade to floating-point audio, which basically makes more room for the audio pipeline. Clipping of the audio is also another fairly big issue with the current 16-bit PCM audio standard being used within Android, and swapping things out for floating-point audio should take care of this too, at least that's the goal they have in mind. Android L promises to put out some very high quality audio and hopefully we'll be seeing those promises manifested, along with all the other improvements that are slated for this next release of the OS.