Here are the first phones to get GPU driver updates via Play Store

google pixel 4 xl oh so orange display home screen 1

Qualcomm announced the ability to deliver GPU driver updates via the Play Store back in December 2019, initially saying it would be limited to new chipsets (starting with Snapdragon 865 and 765 series).

Now, the firm has announced that several Snapdragon 855 phones will be first to get GPU driver updates in this manner (h/t: 9to5Google). These phones are the Samsung Galaxy S10, Samsung Galaxy Note 10, and Google Pixel 4 series, with Qualcomm saying more devices will get the feature “later.”

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The announcement comes as part of a partnership with Google for the Android GPU Inspector tool for developers. This profiling tool allows developers to inspect mobile GPU usage (including Qualcomm’s Adreno GPU) in games to figure out where improvements can be made.

In fact, Qualcomm claims that Google and a developer partner used the tool to deliver 40% GPU utilization savings in an unnamed game on the Pixel 4 XL. The silicon designer said this optimization resulted in a faster frame-rate and better battery life.

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Qualcomm also confirmed that it would make a beta version of the Adreno GPU driver available to select developers, who can then give their feedback and suggestions for future driver updates.

“The final drivers will also be available in the Google Play store on select devices. Consumers will be able to update their Adreno GPU driver just like an app,” the company reiterated.

We’ve contacted Qualcomm to find out more about GPU driver updates via the Play Store, and will update the article when they get back to us. We’ve also asked Samsung whether this feature is restricted to Qualcomm devices and await a response. But it certainly seems like a welcome feature, as it’s poised to deliver smoother performance for budget phones and for flagship devices (especially as time goes by).


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