Chipmaker Qualcomm Gives Android Developers a '5G Wake-Up Call'

With new mobile development opportunities coming with early 5G wireless rollouts, chipmaker Qualcomm has issued a "5G wake-up call" to Android developers, urging them to get onboard with the new technology.

5G, just now being rolled out by carriers such as Verizon and Sprint, promises to provide download speeds from 100 to 1,000 times faster than existing 4G LTE networks, among other benefits.

Qualcomm Technologies Inc. issued its wake-up call for Android developers to start designing the cutting-edge technology into their apps because it manufactures the Snapdragon 855 (described as high-performance 64-bit ARM LTE system on a chip) for Android devices, which can leverage 5G functionality via the upcoming Android Q mobile OS.

Specifically, Android Q enhances ConnectivityManager APIs to detect available 5G networks and measure their performance.

Google says:

5G networks are the next evolution of wireless technology -- providing consistently faster speeds and lower latency. For developers, 5G can unlock new kinds of experiences in your apps and supercharge existing ones.

Android Q adds platform support for 5G and extends existing APIs to help you transform your apps for 5G. You can use connectivity APIs to detect if the device has a high bandwidth connection and check whether the connection is metered. With these your apps and games can tailor rich, immersive experiences to users over 5G.

In a post earlier this month, Qualcomm said Android developers can create apps providing:

  • Near-instant access to cloud services
  • Multiplayer cloud gaming
  • Shopping and navigation with augmented reality
  • Real-time video collaboration

"Through the exposure of new network performance information such as 5G throughput estimation, developers will be able to utilize 5G performance to re-energize their existing applications with superior quality video, audio and responsiveness, while opening doors to the next wave of breakthrough applications and 5G-enabled experiences," the company said.

In its subsequent wake-up call, Qualcomm said, "By exposing network estimated throughput, you can use ConnectivityManager to create network aware apps that are ready to use 5G for greater responsiveness and higher-quality video and audio. In use cases like streaming video, for example, you can factor throughput-awareness into the way you design your apps to manage parameters like buffering needs, compression and codec rate adaptation."

Tom's Guide last week published a roundup of 5G networks and devices being rolled out this year, which can further help guide developers in planning how to incorporate the new technology in their mobile apps.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.