Our laptops and phones get updates all the time, but the per-component update delivery has always been different. On laptops, we get the usual OS updates and security updates and we update our graphics drivers separately. We never have to think about GPU driver updates in phones because they usually package it with the main updates.
It seems that Qualcomm wants to change that starting with the next generation of Snapdragon processors.
Qualcomm will start updating GPU drivers on their Snapdragon chips via the Play Store, which is in line with Google’s Project Mainline. Project Mainline was meant to make it easier to update core OS components the same way we update apps. This would mean that they deliver some components faster without needing a full over the air update from the manufacturer
With Qualcomm, they will start updating the GPU with their new flagship, the Snapdragon 865 which has the Adreno 650 GPU. Such updates being delivered via the PlayStore would rectify issues like game optimization, game crashes or even new features.
This will not happen with existing smartphones with Qualcomm chips and only with Qualcomm’s new chips going forward. Currently, Qualcomm has announced two new chips which include the flagship 865 and the upper midranger 765.
Also, the frequency of driver updates will be down to the individual manufacturer who will be required to test each driver release with their smartphones before updating through the Play Store.
Phones will now be updating like PCs and it seems we have reached that level. This is a welcome move and will definitely improve the speed at which we get updates.