codecs Qualcomm aptX and aptX HD, that enable high-quality Bluetooth audio are now free to use on Android devices.
Previously, device manufacturers had to pay a license to use the codecs on their devices, with fees of up to $6,000 for a one-time payment along with a per-device payment.
This change means that any developer creating a custom ROM can now add Qualcomm aptX or aptX HD support without having to copy them from a licensed version.
codecs are now part of the Apache Android Open Source Project (AOSP) license and is free to use. Although this change may not be significant to the average user, it could result in More devices will support the Hi-Fi wireless audio format in the future.
Qualcomm has clarified that while the aptX and aptX HD codecs are now free to use, companies will still have to pay for licenses to use other aspects of aptX, as the decoder at the receiving end of the Bluetooth connection. Also, it remains the responsibility of ROM developers to use these open source AOSP encoders.
This advancement is a big step forward for the mobile phone industry, which has seen a marked improvement in Bluetooth audio quality over the past decade, but has also faced criticism for ditching the headphone jack.