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Android 2.1 downgrades image quality

PC Magazine has reported that upgrading your Android-powered smartphone to the latest version (2.1) will result in the OS’s picture gallery displaying images in a lower quality than before.

Read on to find out more.

If you have a smartphone which is powered by Google’s Android OS and have felt the need to update the OS to the latest version, you might want to hold back just a bit, because upgrading the OS will downgrade the image quality on the picture gallery.

According to PC Magazine, Dr. Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate Technology Corporation discovered that the picture gallery application in Android 2.1 display images at a colour depth of 16-bit, as opposed to the 24-bit colour depth in Android 2.0.1, an issue which Google had also confirmed after running its own set of tests.

“The Gallery app in Android 2.0.1 is different from the Gallery app in Android 2.1. Google developed Gallery in Android 2.0.1, which uses 24-bit color rendered using 2D technology. On the other hand, Cooliris created Gallery in Android 2.1, which uses 16-bit textures rendered using 3D technology,” Google said in a statement, while adding that it does not have any more specific information to offer at this point of time.

Cooliris, a company known for their 3D image browsing plugin for web browsers, have also said that the decision to use a colour depth of 16-bit was made due to the gallery application being designed for the Nexus One, which apparently did not have enough memory to support the OpenGL textures.

Cooliris have also announced that a fix for the issue was in the works, but it would not be ready anytime soon.

“We will be working on a version that supports 24-bit color and scaling, but do not expect to see it implemented until after the next major Android release,” said Michele Turner, executive vice president of products at Cooliris.

Source: PC Magazine

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