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 Read More
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.
Nothing says hip and sophisticated like a quirky piece of artwork that you can't afford and no one can understand. The only thing that would further situate you above your immensely jealous and inferior-feeling friends would be the addition of Mozart suddenly filling the air. When they ask where your Bluetooth speaker is hidden, you just smile and shake your head smugly, turning ever-so-slowly back to the Soundwall hanging above the fireplace. 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. 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. Read More
We featured the DraStic Nintendo DS emulator way back when it launched and came away impressed. Version 2.2 of the app is probably the biggest update yet, adding a host of forward-looking features that should improve both performance and overall gaming satisfaction. Android 4.4 users in particular will be happy to hear that DraStic now supports Android Runtime (ART).
Those of you with a MOGA controller can now use it natively with DraStic, no root or workaround required. 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. 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 188.8.131.52 in short order, and it should now run in both ART and Dalvik. 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. Read More
Following up on our roundup of May's absolute best games, we're back with the month's greatest apps. As with (almost) every month, May offered plenty in the way of great new apps to try out. If you feel like the supercomputer in your pocket just isn't doing enough, any of these apps are great starting points for added functionality, productivity, or just entertainment.
As with our last roundup, we'll also include a list of honorable mentions – those are the apps that didn't quite make the short list but that you should still take a look at if you find your selection wanting. Read More
If you ever spent hours on the Etch-a-Sketch and thought that what it could really use was a dual-core processor, check out the video below. It's The Sandbox, an iOS hit game that's headed for Android soon. Well, "game" may not be the right word - it's more of a simplistic art/animation/music engine that happens to be played like a game. You take on the role of "apprentice deity" and get to play with the classical elements, completing simple missions or moving freestyle on the face of the waters. Read More