Google is Adding AAC Bluetooth Audio Codec for All Devices in AOSP
Android has been criticized in the past for the way Bluetooth as a whole performs on Google’s mobile platform. Some people have issues getting Bluetooth devices to connect properly, others have come across audio playback skipping and there’s also been complaints about the audio quality itself. With the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL dropping the 3.5mm headphone jack it seems Google is doing more work to improve the Bluetooth audio experience and we’ve just noticed they are adding the AAC Bluetooth audio codec for all devices via AOSP.
Just this month, we’ve seen two big changes happening to Bluetooth on the Android OS platform that many have been asking about for years. We first shared some commits that we had uncovered that show you will soon be able to initiate a conversation with the Google Assistant and end it entirely with your voice on devices with the Bluetooth Hands-Free Profile (HFP). Sadly, some have also experienced audio skipping during Bluetooth playback when the device is under high load. To relieve this issue, Google is working to grant real-time CPU scheduling of the Bluetooth audio playback.
These two changes go a long way to improving the Bluetooth audio experience on Android but Google’s work doesn’t seem to be stopping there. Some new commits merged to AOSP show that Google is adding the AAC Bluetooth audio codec to all devices. Granted, this doesn’t mean that it will show up on every device running a new version of Android, but it should help make the decision to implement it easier on the OEM.
For example, the OnePlus 5 only has the option to choose between aptX, aptX HD, and SBC. Then, when we look at the Pixel phones from Google (both first and 2nd generation running Android 8.0 Oreo), we can see that we can choose between SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, and LDAC Bluetooth audio codecs.