Receiving graphic driver updates straight on smartphone devices isn’t what users think about. As it is out of any user’s control and we have to rely on phone configurations. Either way, users have to wait for those driver updates that come along with complete OS or stable ROM update. Also, it depends upon the type of configuration in your device. Stock Android receives frequent updates and not Custom Android.

Further, many smartphones receive these more extensive OS updates once in a year (not in every case; consider if you’re lucky). But this custom is about to be broke by the leading multinational semiconductor and telecommunications company Qualcomm. With its new Snapdragon 865, things are going to be different.


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Besides, thanks and appreciation to Google!

Earlier this year, Google announced at Google I/O that it has made changes with Android’s Project Mainline. It was the next big step oriented by Google in Android devices for making updates more commutable and independent of major OS updates. Further, the smartphones receiving less frequent updates will now be getting updates other than the Large ROM update frequently.

Also, check out the statement and questions asked by Android Police at Google I/O

Back at I/O, Android Police asked Google if Mainline could be used to facilitate more than just modular security patches?

“The answers they received were suspiciously vague (as in, they suspected the real answer was “yes, but they were not talking about that yet”).

Further, Google answered:

“I hope graphics drivers are just the beginning of this sort of modular approach because it’s sure starting to look like Mainline could have wider implications for the ecosystem. If much more of a phone’s peripheral firmware and drivers could be updated without the need for a full OS patch, it could help reduce the burden on manufacturers and carriers and further streamline the Android OS for easier upgrades.” -Said Google.

Project Treble was the first big step Google took there last year, as part of Android 9 Pie, and Project Mainline now seems to be building on that work. I can only guess as to what Google’s final vision for a fully modular Android looks like, but it’s clear we’re starting to take real steps toward achieving it.” by Google.

What benefits would update the GPU more frequently have? 

“Likely, you’d see more patches to rectify issues like game crashes, optimization for performance on new titles, and potentially support for new features.”

Qualcomm words-

“We wouldn’t commit to an exact update schedule or planned upgrades to the Adreno 650 on the Snapdragon 865—which for now is the only GPU that will get these updates—but hopefully the company can provide such updates to all of its GPUs moving forward.”

Additionally, the Police Android asked – if these modular drivers could be backported to Mainline-enabled phones like Pixel 3 and Pixel 4? But didn’t got the response. “Besides, the more significant idea assumed here is a modular Android device,” – said the Android Police.

Few Things Cleared by Qualcomm Representative

  • Currently, there are no plans for backporting the ability to update GPU drivers of existing smartphones. Only smartphones with new chips will be able to perform this.
  • The GPU driver updates will be supported by Snapdragon 865 and 765/G. Also, the new coming chipset will support the driver updates and not the old existing one.
  • Each user will have to test every driver’s release against their smartphones before updating it via play store.


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