Xda-developers forum member Chainfire has released an impressive new graphics utility for Android called Chainfire3D. He describes it as an “intermediary OpenGL driver” which can change commands sent from an app to your graphics driver. That allows you to do things like play games that require a specific graphics driver on unsupported hardware. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are a few things Chainfire3D can do:

  • NightMode reduces the number of colors on your display to save battery life on an OLED screen or make a screen easier to view in low-light settings.
  • Reduce texture resolutions by half, which can reduce memory use and improve performance when rendering 3D graphics.
  • Convert 32-bit textures to lower quality 16-bit textures.
  • Use plugins to emulate NVIDIA Tegra 2, PowerVR, or ATI graphics and report to the Android Market that your phone has that hardware (so you can download apps that normally require Tegra 2, for instance).

In order to use Chainfire3D you’ll need a rooted phone with a 1 GHz or faster processor. The software has been tested on a number of phones including the Samsung Galaxy S, Motorola Atrix 4G, Motorola Droid 2, and Google Nexus S.

Some games may not play properly even with Chainfire3D installed, and there’s a chance that you won’t get the same kind of graphics performance that you would with a real NVIDIA Tegra2 processor, but many users are reporting that they’re not seeing any real problems with Tegra-specifica games running on non-Tegra devices.

You can find download links and more details at the xda-developers forum, reddit, and Android Police.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...

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