xHE-AAC © Fotolia / Antonioguillem

More Android 9 Pie devices with xHE-AAC

In the run-up to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, an increasing number of smartphone manufacturers have announced the availability of the Android 9 Pie mobile operating system for their handsets: either as an update, or pre-installed on new models. The OS comes with new mandatory audio components, including Fraunhofer’s xHE-AAC audio codec and the MPEG-D DRC Loudness and Dynamic Range metadata standard.

After initially being available as an update for Google Pixel devices as well as for the Essential Phone, at least 13 manufacturers have announced or rolled out Android 9 Pie updates with xHE-AAC, and a growing number of OEM devices have the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system pre-installed. Here is a short overview of current Android 9 Pie handsets (country availability may vary according to model)*:

  • Asus: Zenfone 5, Zenfone 5Z
  • Essential: Essential Phone
  • Google: Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL
  • Honor: View 20, View 10, Honor 10, 10 Lite, Honor Play
  • HTC: U11 Life (Android One)
  • Huawei: Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X, Mate RS Porsche Design, Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, Mate 10 RS Porsche Design, P Smart 2019, P20, P20 Pro, P10
  • LG: G7 One (Android One), G7 ThinQ
  • Motorola (Lenovo): Moto One, Moto One Power, Moto G6, Moto G6 Plus, Moto G6 Play, Moto X4 (&Android One), Moto Z3, Moto Z3 Play
  • Nokia (HMD Global): 3.1 Plus, Nokia 5, 5.1 Plus, Nokia 6.1, 6.1 Plus, 7 Plus, Nokia 7.1, Nokia 8, 8 Sirocco, Nokia 8.1
  • Oneplus: 6T, Oneplus 6, 5T, Oneplus 5
  • Samsung: Galaxy S8, S8 Plus Galaxy S9, S9 Plus, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, Galaxy Fold
  • Sony: Xperia XZ3, Xperia XZ2, Xperia XZ2 Premium, Xperia XZ2 Compact, Xperia XZ1, Xperia XZ1 Compact, Xperia XZ Premium
  • Xiaomi: Mi A1 (Android One), Mi A2 (Android One), Mi A2 Lite (Android One), Mi Mix 2S, Mi 8, Pocophone F1

At MWC Barcelona, taking place from February 25 to 28, 2019 at Fira Gran Via, Fraunhofer IIS will showcase various video and Internet radio streaming applications with xHE-AAC. The latest member of the AAC codec family offers maximum coding efficiency, with a bit rate range from 12 kbit/s to 500 kbit/s and above for stereo services. Combining this with seamless bit rate switching over DASH and HLS, and mandatory MPEG-D DRC Loudness and Dynamic Range Control, xHE-AAC is the ideal solution for adaptive audio and video streaming services – whether it’s for movies, music, audiobooks or podcasts – as well as for digital radio broadcasting.

Besides xHE-AAC, visitors to the Fraunhofer booth 7G31 in hall 7 will be able to experience the following audio and media technologies:

MPEG-H Audio: Personalized and immersive audio

An audio mix of OTT streaming content can be personalized, for example by switching between different languages, adjusting the volume of a sports commentator, enhancing the dialogue, or choosing from various audio description options. Personalization features like the latter enable providers of video streaming services to offer more advanced accessibility services. MPEG-H Audio is the first Next Generation Audio system used in a regular terrestrial 4K TV service and standardized in 3GPP, DVB and ATSC 3.0. It delivers immersive and interactive sound, also on mobile devices, enabling the best audio experience for example in 360°-video applications over 5G. In terms of content delivery and playback, MPEG-H’s universal delivery concept ensures the best sound, regardless of the consumer device or listening environment.

EVS: Crystal clear and robust phone calls

Enhanced Voice Services (EVS), the state-of-the-art 3GPP/GSMA speech and audio codec, has been adopted as mandatory for Vo5G services and is already in use in VoLTE/VoWiFi services worldwide. It enables phone calls with super-wideband high-quality speech, bringing call fidelity up to the same level as today’s other digital media services – at unmatched low bit rates. Thanks to EVS’s advanced robustness against packet loss, network coverage is considerably enhanced, including indoor coverage.

upHear Voice Quality Enhancement: Helping smart devices to accurately hear voice commands

Fraunhofer upHear Voice Quality Enhancement facilitates voice-controlled human-machine interaction even at great distance to the smart device. The technology is flexible towards a wide range of microphone array geometries built into mobile phones and smart home devices such as smart speakers. upHear Voice Quality Enhancement removes interfering sounds captured by the device’s microphones, extracts the user’s voice and cancels out acoustical echoes – making it easier for the automatic speech recognizer to understand a request. Russian-based technology company Yandex has incorporated upHear Voice Quality Enhancement into its first smart speaker, enabling the device’s keyword spotter and speech recognizer to accurately hear voice commands issued from anywhere in a room, even when the speaker is playing music at the same time.

*information supplied without liability. Sources used: https://www.androidauthority.com/android-9-0-update-880718/, https://t3n.de/news/android-9-0-pie-update-uebersicht-1-februar-2019-1078224/, https://www.theandroidsoul.com/motorola-android-9-pie-update/

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