In a short 15 years, mobile technology has come a long way. Monochrome screens and 12-button keypads have given way to touchscreens and multi-touch input. Still, sound quality on mobile has been a nagging issue. Sure, there have been audio-centric devices, but the big sell was always the simple presence of audio, with no expectation of truly engaging sound reproduction. Developers had no guarantees that the time and effort they devoted to building a soundstage for games and apps would pay off. Many times, it didn’t.
Dolby Laboratories has been working in entertainment for nearly 50 years. If you’ve seen a movie, played a tape (how arcane!), played any AAA console games, or listened to music on your home audio/video receiver (AVR), chances are exceptionally high that Dolby has had a part in making that content sound as enticing as it does.
So, when the Dolby logo started appearing on mobile devices, it was a clear signal that audio was starting to take a front seat in the mobile experience.
Fire Tablets Get the Dolby Treatment
The combination of Dolby® Digital Plus™ and Amazon’s Fire tablets creates a new standard in mobile entertainment. Users are now able to enjoy mobile content with high-quality audio—no compromises. The effect is dazzling. Amazon’s streaming video and music sounds deeper and richer on Fire tablets than on nearly any other mobile device. Mobile apps benefit from the technology as well, and hundreds of apps have added a new dimension of audio simply by leveraging Dolby Digital Plus via the Dolby Audio™ API for Android.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD and HDX represented the first round of enhanced audio in mobile.
Now Amazon has leveled up to Round 2 with the announcement of the next generation of Fire tablets—including an 8.9" version that is the first tablet to feature Dolby Atmos and deliver theater-like experience over headphones with Amazon streaming movies.
Dolby Atmos Brings Cinema Experience to Mobile
Dolby Atmos was primarily designed to allow movie content producers to place sound in a three-dimensional space and create a more lifelike experience for filmgoers. If you’ve never seen a movie in Dolby Atmos, you need to. It transports you into the movie with breathtaking, multidimensional sound that fills the theater with amazing richness and depth. Sounds move all around you, including overhead, making you feel like you are truly inside the story. Dolby Atmos achieves this by rendering audio as objects that are controlled by metadata.
Learn more about Dolby Atmos.
Use Dolby in Your Own Fire Apps
Here’s the really cool part: as an app developer deploying on the Fire OS, you’re ahead of the game. Audio elements in apps are already rendered as objects, so you can take advantage of Dolby Audio enhancements now. While Dolby Atmos sound isn’t available for apps, you can still leverage the benefits of Dolby technology by integrating the Dolby Audio API into your app or game. The benefits include:
- Volume leveling – Maintains constant volume across all content and applications
- Audio optimization – Delivers natural sound, louder and distortion-free
- Dolby digital pass-through via HDMI – Allows direct home theater connections for a full multichannel experience.
- Surround virtualization – Creates a surround sound experience from standard stereo audio
Integration takes around 15 minutes, and plug-ins are available for Unity, Marmalade, Adobe Air, Xamarin, and Cordova.
The Dolby Audio API is available for free, and you will hear an immediate difference on Dolby technology-enabled devices like Amazon’s Fire tablets.
Set Your App Apart
Now is the perfect time to differentiate your application by using enhanced audio. With mobile companies across the spectrum adding higher quality audio as a major selling point, apps using the Dolby Audio API are poised to grab the spotlight and delight customers with a new take on immersive experiences. Be the first to take advantage of Dolby technology on Fire tablets, and watch your users marvel at the deeper experience it affords.
Interested in learning more? Check out Dolby’s developer website and the next generation of Fire tablets with Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Atmos.
Thanks to guest blogger Andy Vaughan of Dolby Laboratories for introducing Dolby Atmos and describing how Fire tablets use the technology to set a new standard for mobile audio. A 10-year mobile industry veteran and low-level audiophile, Andy knows the state of audio on mobile devices is ripe for change. Before delivering solutions for feature phones, smartphones, tablets, and e-readers, he helped launch developer programs for Rational Software, IBM, and Fortify Software.