Qualcomm’s promise for driver updates is finally coming to fruition thanks to Google

Qualcomm’s promise for driver updates is finally coming to fruition thanks to Google
Last year, when Qualcomm officially unveiled the Snapdragon 865 it also made another announcement that got much less attention. The company said that it’s partnering with Google to start delivering GPU driver updates for its chips.

Those of us familiar with PC gaming know how important drivers can be for in-game performance. Software tweaks can help games use the GPU’s resources better and improve framerates sometimes more than a hardware upgrade would. So far, mobile game developers can’t benefit from that since drivers were set in stone with the release of each chip.

But now, software companies will have the tool to make adjustments on the fly, SamMobile reports. Google has released Android GPU Inspector: “A single tool that will help you profile and debug graphics on Android across Qualcomm Adreno GPUs and Arm Mali GPUs.”

The tool will give developers better insights on how their game is utilizing the GPU and where changes can be made so their games can run better. The support for Mali GPUs means that the Galaxy S20 and S10 units that have Samsung’s Exynos chips can also benefit in the future.

Unfortunately, it’s still up to each individual developer to put the time and effort to optimize its games and a lot of them will probably decide it’s not worth it. However, major studios like Blizzard and Gameloft are already on board, according to Google and Qualcomm. If done correctly, Qualcomm claims the improvements can lead to a 40% boost in performance and improved battery life of the device. That’s far from insignificant.

The changes will reach your device through the usual app updates via Google’s Play Store. Don’t expect the gains to manifest soon, however, it will take time before the tweaks are ready to deploy.

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