Qualcom releases ICS graphics drivers for older phones, custom ROM builders rejoice


Google has no plans to release an official version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the Google Nexus One. Even though the first phone to wear the Google Nexus name is just over two years old, Google claims it doesn’t have the hardware to support the newest version of Android.

Nexus One Android 4.0

That hasn’t stopped independent developers from building custom ROMs for the Nexus One and a number of other phones with similar hardware though. But there’s one major roadblock: those developers haven’t had access to proper drivers for hardware accelerated graphics.

But now chip maker Qualcomm has released updated graphics driver binaries for the Adreno 200 graphics used in a number of older Android devices. The new drivers are designed to work with Android 4.0.

This could lead to custom ROMs with much better support for 3D graphics and HD video playback, although it’s still unlikely that Google, HTC, or other phone makers will release official Android 4.0 updates for devices that are more than two years old since they still don’t tend to have as much storage space as newer phones and tablets.

via xda-developers and Qualcomm developer forums

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since 2006. Brad has also worked with NPR, WHYY, PRI, and AOL.

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