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24 February 2011, 14:09

WebM/VP8 support appears in Android 2.3.3

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Google's recently announced Android 2.3.3, "Gingerbread", is according to Google, now starting to be delivered OTA (Over The Air) to Nexus S and Nexus One smartphones. It appears that 2.3.3, as well as adding support for NFC (Near Field Communications) as found in the Nexus S, has also added WebM support. The details of the WebM support are on the Android Media Formats page where a new entry for the VP8 codec, as used by the WebM container format, has been added with the note "Android 2.3.3+".

Google is pushing the WebM format and VP8 codec, which it open sourced in May 2010, as a royalty free codec for web video, competing with the incumbent H.264 codec. It is supported in this effort by the Free Software Foundation, Mozilla and Opera. The company recently announced it would remove H.264 video support from Chrome's HTML5 <video> tag, leaving only WebM/VP8 support; Firefox 4 will, similarly, only support WebM for HTML5 video.

The addition of WebM support to the Android platform will allow the video format to be used on mobile devices, an area where H.264 has considerable presence thanks to H.264 being utilised by the Apple iPhone and iPad.

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