iPad: The High-Rez Digital Transport for the Rest of Us? Page 6

Android - A Work in Progress

the situation for Android fans is a little bleak at this point; despite the plethora of Google-powered tablets on the market right now, none of the current versions of the OS (and no existing audio player) so far as we can determine plays nice with USB DACs. We've seen no reports to indicate that tablets running Honeycomb (Android 3.1), which can function as USB hosts, will recognize USB audio class-compliant USB devices (though please let us know if you've seen any exceptions - we'd love to hear otherwise). Even though some devices offer HDMI and MHL ports, audio-only applications don't have access to those ports; another roadblock for high-rez music fans, at least at present.

It is rumored that the newly released Ice Cream Sandwich will mean universal USB Host mode support, and hopefully that'll bring with it the ability for Android devices to stream audio to class-compliant USB DACs. . . but we'll believe it when we see it. Google's certainly committed to music playback these days, so it's probably just a matter of time, but since even USB mass storage support isn't the given it should be on 4.0 devices, make sure you try the device you're interested in before you buy (and let us know if you find something that works).