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Android 12 adds haptics-coupled audio, which could be extraordinary

With the launch of the Android 12 developer preview this week, we are taking a look at what the software will bring later this year. Android 12, also known as Android S, adds a system called HapticGenerator. This new code is an audio post processor “that generates tactile data based on the audio channels”. This can change the way you hear the sound on your smartphone in the very near future.

To make use of this effect, the device’s hardware NEED to be able to support “tactile audio playback coupled. This effect will only be created on devices that support this feature, based on the simple check that occurs at the start of the feature. Apps need to add code, devices need to support that code, and Android 12 needs to be on the device that will try to make the effect work – so it’s not quite ready for prime time yet, we’re just looking at what’s to come.

The first mentions of this system in the Android 12 code work with the Media Player and / or “AudioEffect” on the phone. This means that we are working with sounds for videos, sounds from music applications, sounds from video games and more.

With audio effects, tactile feedback inherits gain control, bass reinforcement, dynamic processing, an equalizer and volume intensifier effect. You will also get “Acoustic Echo Canceler” (AEC), present reverb effect and virtualizer effect. Tactile feedback can turn audio into a much more tactile element in games, once it is ready to work on Android S.

Google separates the content that works with this effect into four parts: Game, Movie, Music and Voice. Imagine what could be done with this feature on your next Android device – what kind of game or music would you like to experiment with tactile feedback linked to the sound?

To see more about this software, take a look at the Android 12 Developer Preview version for Pixel devices this afternoon. If you have a Google Pixel from the past few years, you should be able to load Android 12 DP1 this minute!

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