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Android 2.1 downgrades image quality

PC Magazine reports that Dr. Raymond Soneira of Displaymate Technology Corporation found that upgrading to Android 2.1 will downgrade the quality of images in your image gallery. He tested his theory on a Motorola Droid, where he discovered that Android 2.0.1 uses 24-bit color rendered in 2D, and Android 2.1 uses only 16-bit color rendered in 3D.

Google claims that this is due to a different company making the new version of gallery. Google, who made the original version, used 24-bit. The new Gallery was developed by Cooliris, also known for their internet image browser. Google didn't really comment on why there was a quality discrepancy, and Cooliris has yet to comment. 

In his original report, Dr. Soneira shuns Google for shoddy display development and suggests that they do away with the 16-bit graphics. He also criticizes the Nexus One's display in general.

"The Nexus One OLED display has many spectacular qualities, but it is also loaded with lots of rough edges, hasty unfinished beta display drivers and Android software including principal applications like the Browser and Gallery, poorly implemented image processing, poor system integration together with sub-standard factory display calibration. It really looks and behaves like a prototype for a very nice future display, not a finished production display for a world class mobile device that Google markets it to be. It will be interesting to see the degree to which existing units will be corrected and improved with software updates."

While he's upset with Google's implementation of display software and hardware, he had only good things to say about the Droid's display. 

"In terms of image and picture quality it comes closer to a high quality computer monitor or HDTV than any other mobile display we have tested – all the more impressive because mobile displays operate under challenging size, power and cost constraints."

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