Jan 23 AT 11:35 AM Taylor Wimberly 25 Comments

Correction: First Android devices with WiFi Display likely powered by Texas Instruments’ OMAP4


Earlier this month I reported that the first Android devices to support the new WiFi Display industry standard would be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4, but after meeting with Texas Instruments I now believe their OMAP4 platform will enable this exciting technology ahead of the competition.

Many Android devices already support WiFi Direct, the underlying technology behind WiFi Display that enables peer-to-peer wireless connections. However, in order to fully support WiFi Display, Android devices will need the right hardware resources to address the technology and they will also require a firmware update when the WiFi Display standard is certified by the WiFi Alliance.

Unfortunately that means that not all devices which already support WiFi Direct will also support WiFi Display. Qualcomm for example, will only support WiFi Display in their next-generation Snapdragon S4 processor which will be appearing in devices later this year. All of the current Android devices with Snapdragon S1, S2, and S3 will not support WiFi Display.

Texas Instruments will one-up Qualcomm by supporting WiFi Display in their current-generation OMAP4 family of processors. Devices to feature OMAP4 include most of the recent Motorola phones (Bionic, RAZR, Droid 3, etc.), several LG phones (Thrill 4G, Spectrum), Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Barnes and Noble’s Nook Tablet, and Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus.

Earlier this month at CES, Texas Instruments showed me their current implementation of WiFi Display running on several Android devices and I was genuinely impressed.

First I witnessed screen mirroring, which was demonstrated by HD video streaming from a tablet to a TV. Next I got to wirelessly beam a full 3D game to a TV, while I controlled the on-screen character using the tablet’s built-in gyroscope. Texas Instruments also demoed another cool use case of projecting a mobile device’s display to a large screen and then issuing gesture controls to an application using the device’s front-facing camera.

The industry certification program for WiFi Display commences in the second quarter of 2012, so we should get to see these experiences and more around summer time. We expect the Galaxy Nexus to be the first Android device with WiFi Display, since enabling it will require a firmware upgrade and Google delivers the most timely updates to their devices.

I think a lot of consumers are downplaying WiFi Display, but it’s one of the most exciting mobile technologies that I’m looking forward to in 2012. This is just the tip of the iceberg of a wave of human-centric interactions where we are no longer limited to the physical confines of a mobile device.

As I step back and look at the big picture of mobile, I think I see why Google went with Texas Instruments for their Galaxy Nexus device. Many companies are talking about the future of the post-PC era, but only Texas Instruments has already enabled many of these experiences in Android and they will be first to bring them to market.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • delinear

    Anyone got some more information on how this works? I use imediashare to play content from my phone wirelessly on my TV (using DLNA), but some content will play on the phone but not on the TV, so I’m assuming the TV needs the correct codecs (or it’s a DRM issue). Does WiFi display get around this by just streaming the playing content or will it suffer the same issues?

    Would be awesome if this meant everything on my phone could also play on my TV.

    • spazby

      amen to your last comment

    • mikego

      It’s not working for you because DLNA isn’t mirroring the display. It’s streaming content from one device to another, and the recipient device needs to be able to process the codec. There are some media servers such as TVersity, that transcodes media to a playable format before it streams it. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any transcoding streamers available for Android (It is CPU intensive). However, WiFi Display should work for you, as it seems to stream the display output, not the media.

  • bryanl

    I wonder how this differs from Bluetooth 4.0.

    • Jeff Pan

      May be better speed!

    • Lucian Armasu

      This has nothing to do with Bluetooth 4.0. HD video wouldn’t even stream through it, and how many TV’s have Bluetooth?

  • txbluesman

    This seems really cool. I will be really interested in seeing this first hand and trying it for myself. Thanks for the update Taylor.

  • timby

    Any idea if the Exynos chipset found in the Samsung Galaxy S II I9100 phones will be able to support WiFi Display?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I don’t know 100%. Exynos 4210 has an ARM Cortex-A9 core, same as the OMAP4. It should be able to support it, but Samsung and their partners will have to enable it.

  • Louis A

    Sweeeeeet! This is gonna be pretty interesting, let’s go GNex!!

  • leroy

    LG Electron has snapdragon s3 in it. So why would it be on the list?

  • WlfHart

    Anyone for playing a racing game on their big screen tv while using their phone as a steering wheel?

    • bryanl

      Isn’t that possible right now. Actually, Google mentions that as a strategy for putting games on the GoogleTV.


      • Dikembe

        Strictly speaking, games can do remote to TV as long as two the game devs made it happen.

        There is no consistent system support for it

  • _Diego

    Sounds like a lot of technologies for peer-to-peer sharing are coming up…
    NFC, DLNA, Wi-Fi Display….

    I wonder, how are these different from ane another and what are their respective (dis)advantages? Are they all intended for the same purpose or are some not usable where others are? Now that’s an article I’d love to read :-)

  • Nathan D.

    Are there anyone else that could support this beside Qualcomm and OMAP4?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Yes, I expect all mobile companies will support WiFi Display by the end of the year.

  • Starship

    So do we need a WiFi enabled TV or will we be able to buy a dongle?

    • http://theandroidappshow.com Lane Montgomery

      Will probably just be a standard supported by smart tvs including google tvs and boxes.

  • tjaay

    cool. how does it affect battery . also can a mobile act as a sink instead of a source. pls post videos if you have ..

  • tjaay

    also is 802.11n and 100 Mbps data rate required for this? thanks for covering this. rest of the media outlets were simply ignoring real innovation like this and complaining about lack of innovation through out CES coverage.

  • ranwanimator

    So how about Tegra 3? WiFi Display capable?

  • Foo

    Nope, as of Q4 2012, still no sign of WiDi/Miracast on Galaxy Nexus.

  • dutrak

    Havent seen a new device with a OMAP soc in time now