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Nov 2, 2011

Ice Cream Sandwich Brings Hardware Acceleration, Faster Apps

Applications running on devices based on the new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system should be both faster and better looking than before, Google says. 

This is due to the fact that Google packed the new Android release with hardware accelerated graphics, something that was announced ever since Android 3.0 Honeycomb arrived on the first tablet PCs out there.

Starting with Android 4.0, hardware acceleration will be on by default for all of the applications that have been installed on the device, which results in a far better experience for all users.

“Earlier this year, Android 3.0 launched with a new 2D rendering pipeline designed to support hardware acceleration on tablets. With this new pipeline, all drawing operations performed by the UI toolkit are carried out using the GPU,” Romain Guy and Chet Haase, Android engineers, explain in a blog post.

“You’ll be happy to hear that Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, brings an improved version of the hardware-accelerated 2D rendering pipeline to phones, starting with Galaxy Nexus.”

Not only would users be able to benefit from this new feature, but developers as well can now build applications that can take advantage of accelerated graphics, the said blog post explains.

For those devs who created apps that need to display OpenGL or video content, Google came up with a new widget called TextureView, one that is based on the hardware accelerated 2D rendering pipeline, as well as on SurfaceTexture.

At the same time, Google notes that the new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS flavor brings along improvements to a series of animations that were included in Android 3.0, and that there are also a series of other graphical changes that developers might be interested in.

All the above, along with a series of other enhancements and new features, are being detailed in the aforementioned blog post on the Android Developers website here.


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