If you're feeling fancy and you decided to flash the Android N developer preview, you'll notice that your optimization step didn't take very long at all. That's thanks to a new change in Android N that Ryan has already detailed. The Android Runtime, ART for short, is now using a JIT (just-in-time) compiler, which means that apps install update much faster so you can quickly get back to royally crushing whatever clash you're clanning against. Read More
It looks like Google is putting the last nail in Dalvik's coffin, and the new Android Runtime (ART) is about to take the throne. A pair of commits turned up last night in the master branch of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository that spell certain doom for the Android runtime we've known
and loved for all these years. The first of the two changes completely wipes the /libdvm (Dalvik Virtual Machine) folder from AOSP, and the second takes care of changing all of the relevant configuration files and startup scripts to call on the ART runtime. Yup, this is the end for Dalvik.
Note: The line of 'D's on the far left mean: Delete. Read More
It was only 3 months ago when we first met the brand new Android Runtime, dubbed ART. In that time it has gained a substantial following by enthusiasts throughout the Android community. Given its "preview" status and warnings from the Android team that ART wasn't ready for the general population, it appeared unlikely that it would officially take the place of Dalvik anytime soon. However, a new commit to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) is strong evidence that ART may become the default runtime in the next version of Android.
The change in code is quite simple, it merely sets ART as the default and bumps Dalvik in as the alternate. Read More
Shortly after the new Android Runtime made its grand entrance, I ran a pretty exhaustive (and exhausting) series of performance benchmarks that showed ART wasn't really ready to blow us away. At the time, I opted to avoid the topic of battery life because it is so difficult to test accurately and with unbiased, meaningful results. As it turns out, that was dumb. Yup, so many of you have asked, I finally had no choice but to dive in and run a battery of tests on...well, the battery.
I've been running tests for over 6 weeks, covering virtually every angle I could think of and repeating several measurements to ensure the results were consistent and accurate. Read More
Greenify is an app that can speed up devices by hibernating specific apps when they're not running in the foreground, limiting how many background apps may potentially sip away at your battery life. ART, short for Android Runtime, handles app execution in a way that can be significantly peppier than Dalvik. Together, the two can breathe new life in a rooted device, and this combination is now more stable thanks to the latest version of Greenify, which adds ART compatibility.
You will need KitKat on your device to use Greenify with ART. Before now, some people who tried to mix the two were met with a crash. Read More
For a lot of users, Titanium Backup is one of the first Android apps they install on a new device or ROM. So it's no surprise that a few of them were dismayed when they tried to do so on the Nexus 5 (or one of a growing number of updated Android 4.4 devices) with the fancy new Android Runtime enabled, and found that Titanium would crash. The developer has updated the app to 184.108.40.206 in short order, and it should now run in both ART and Dalvik.
If you haven't heard, ART is a new way for Android to run apps and cut down on compiler overhead, making them faster and more efficient. Read More
By now you've probably heard about ART and how it will improve the speed and performance of Android, but how does it actually perform today? The new Android Runtime promises to cut out a substantial amount of overhead by losing the baggage imposed by Dalvik, which sounds great, but it's still far from mature and hasn't been seriously optimized yet. I took to running a battery of benchmarks against it to find out if the new runtime could really deliver on these high expectations. ART is definitely showing some promise, but I have to warn you that you probably won't be impressed with the results you'll see here today. Read More
It's fair to say that Android went through some chaotic years in the beginning. The pace of development was frantic as the operating system grew at an unprecedented rate. An as-yet undetermined future led to decisions that were made to conform to existing hardware and architectures, the available development tools, and the basic need to ship working code on tight deadlines. Now that the OS has matured, the Android team has been giving more attention to some of the components that haven't aged quite as well. One of the oldest pieces of the Android puzzle is the Dalvik runtime, the software responsible for making most of your apps run. Read More