A new series of commits to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code seems to suggest that Google is adding new options for OEMs when it comes to audio playback over Bluetooth. Namely, the search giant appears to be adding support for the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) Bluetooth audio codec to AOSP itself, meaning it could feasibly be used across all devices. Unfortunately, it will still be up to the manufacturers to implement the codec for their own devices. For those who may not know, the AAC codec is typically used outside of wireless settings. For example, YouTube and some manufacturers encode video audio and ringtones, respectively, in AAC because it tends to deliver much better audio fidelity than mp3's or similar codecs.
With that said, this change and others that have recently been made via the AOSP could really improve the way Bluetooth performs on the platform for those handset makers that take advantage of it. Another of the changes recently made saw Google adding support for real-time CPU scheduling of Bluetooth playback itself. Effectively, that allows for the digital bits that any given media is comprised of to be managed by the CPU, in real time, cutting down on the number of skips or lags experienced in playback itself for the end-user. The company also recently added Google Assistant support for the Bluetooth Hands-Free Profile so that users with Bluetooth headsets could talk to the digital assistant without having to pick up their device or push any buttons. The changes should also go a long way toward making the entire experience better on devices that don't come with any headphone jack at all.
The newest commit, listed as change number 431083, was authored way back in June and finally committed on October 25. However, it's important to note and bears repeating that the commit doesn't really have any bearing on when users will or could see AAC codec support on their handsets. Each of the changes will either be implemented or not entirely at the discretion of the handset manufacturers themselves. So it's possible that not every device will even ultimately support the newly added codec or other features. If and when they are delivered to any Android devices, they will almost certainly be included as part of a given manufacturer's standard update cycle. That could mean a long wait for some users but it's still good to see a continuation of Google's apparent commitment to making sweeping changes for the better, across Android itself, when it comes to Bluetooth.