Samsung, with its Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, added support for Vulkan API to enable better and smoother graphics performance on its smartphones. Google then added Vulkan support in Android 7.0 Nougat update. Now, there’s a new version of Vulkan API (application programming interface) – version 1.1, and Google is expected to start supporting it soon.
The graphics API helps in giving mobile gaming a serious push forward, at least visuals wise. It also helps in bringing console quality graphics in your palm. We have already seen some interesting tech demos that utilize Vulkan API. Currently, game developers rely on OpenGL ES for graphics rendering, but with Vulkan, developers get direct access to hardware, meaning they can fully utilize the GPU’s power.
Some of the highly anticipated features of Vulkan API 1.1 include – SPIR-V 1.3, extension integration and Subgroup Operations. According to a report on XDA Developers, the commits integrating Vulkan API 1.1 have already been merged, which means the Android P Developer Preview 2 could come with support for new version, and eventually make it to the final version.
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Unfortunately, end users won’t be able to immediately reap the benefits as the new version is meant for developers. As more and more developers adopt Vulkan 1.1, you’ll start seeing mobile games run smoother. The Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL will be the first smartphones to come with Vulkan 1.1 API.