Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean' to bring improved audio performance?

Samsung's Galaxy Nexus: first in the queue for audio improvements.
Samsung's Galaxy Nexus: first in the queue for audio improvements.

When it comes to mobile music making, MusicRadar has occasionally been criticised for a perceived bias towards iOS and against Android . However, the fact is that, while there are new apps being released every week for Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, Android phones and tablets hardly get any.

The reasons for this are many and varied, but one of the fundamental problems has been that Android hasn't been able to deliver latency levels low enough to encourage music making on the devices that run it.

Things could be about to change, though, with the launch of version 4.1 of the operating system, known as Jelly Bean. This, apparently, targets latency levels below 10ms, and there's also talk of USB audio device support, multichannel audio and recording features.

You can read a detailed investigation into what Android 4.1 could mean for music making over at Create Digital Music, though it's worth noting that, at the moment, the talk is of these improvements only being evident if you're using the Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone.

It remains to be seen whether other devices will benefit - Google's new Nexus 7 tablet, for example, runs Jelly Bean - but if they do, then the battle with iOS in the mobile music making space could begin anew.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.