Qualcomm’s aptX and aptX HD encoders are finally free to use on Android

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Qualcomm has rolled back its support for aptX audio in the latest version of its "Qualcomm NXP Project" reference software, the Android OS it supplies to OEMs for

Bluetooth audio quality has improved significantly over the last decade or so, somewhat offsetting the mobile industry’s frustrating decision to get rid of the headphone jack. High-clarity codecs like Qualcomm’s aptX HD have led the charge on this front, but in order to use the feature, your phone must be able to encode audio in the format in addition to your wireless headphones or earbuds being able to decode it. Thankfully, a recent move by Qualcomm could make aptX codecs more widely accessible. The patch is for a certification process called “Vendor Licensing Agreement”, which is required to be accepted before the codecs is available in Android. We don’t know if it was accepted, but the actual patch is still available on GitHub. While the patch is dated from August, it is never hurts to check.

The patch is only for the aptX and aptX HD encoders, but the aim is to make

Like Sony’s AAC, the aptX codec requires licensing. In a neat explainer about the matter on Reddit, Android expert Mishaal Rahman specifies that device manufacturers need to pay Qualcomm a pretty high licensing fee before they can use the aptX and aptX HD encoders in their devices. A few months ago, Rahman found an Android Open Source Project (AOSP) patch from Qualcomm engineers pertaining to the aptX encoders, originally filed in November.

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