Speed and performance improvements How switching to ART can give you a real speed boost

How switching to ART can give you a real speed boost Android can be slower than we might like it to be. We know this, the device manufacturers know this, Google knows too. Over the last couple of years, the Android development team have been working on Android Runtime (ART), a new method of handling how apps run. Currently, this role is fi lled by Dalvik, and this has been the case since the fi rst Android phone was released in 2008. Clearly Dalvik is capable of doing the job, but ART off ers a new, faster alternative. As things stand, apps are compiled when they’re run using the just-in-time (JIT) compiler, but with ART the apps are compiled when they are installed thanks to ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation. The implication is that apps become more like native software. They should be quicker to launch and use less battery,

Android Tips Tricks & Apps Volume 8 - 2014

perhaps by requiring fewer cores. It sounds good, doesn’t it? You can switch to ART on Android KitKat – but beware, it might not turn out to be as good as you’d hoped. At this point, ART is little more than a toy, an experimental preview that Google has included in Android 4.4 KitKat. Should you activate ART and assess how it runs your apps? It’s up to you. Some may speed up, others may slow down or fail to run at all. Until ART is optimised we can only guess at how much its eventual introduction will enhance Android. Estimates suggest that app launch time can be halved and animations will be smoother. ART isn’t all good news; there are some drawbacks, such as the increased storage requirements for installed apps and longer installation times on older devices.

How to switch to ART



1. Developer optionsDeveloper optionsDeveloper options must be
enabled to switch to ART –
this may be hidden on your
device. To reveal the option,
open Settings>About
Phone and tap the Build
number fi eld seven times.


2. Enable Android RuntimeEnable Android RuntimeIn Settings>Developer options,
tap Select Runtime and choose
Use ART. Click OK to confi rm
– your phone will be restarted in
order to make the necessary
changes. This may take some
time to complete.
3. Wait for the rebootWait for the rebootAs your device reboots, it will
display a message informing you
that “Android is upgrading” as
your apps and services are
optimised to run ART. Once
Android starts, your phone
should be much faster!

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