Upcoming Android 4.5 Features Detailed – OS To Increase Speed At The Cost Of Space

Ramish Zafar
Posted Jun 23, 2014
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Interesting posts have surfaced on the Android Open Source Project Website about the next Android OS, the Android 4.5. These detail a couple of changes in Google’s upcoming OS. The Android 4.5 is to be released by Google at it’s upcoming I/O conference next week. The AOSP is a website for Android developers to discuss their on going projects. The posts show that on the Android 4.5 changes will be made which will reduce app loading timeĀ  but will increase the space required to store them on your device.

Dalvik Runtime Compiler To Be Replaced By ART. Merged Commits On AOSP Confirm The Change.

In order to fully understand how the Android 4.5 will be different from its predecessors, we first need to understand how the OS runs on your device. As we all know, apps are made by developers who write a ‘code’ specifically for each application. When the app runs on your phone, the code is executed – and voila! It works. Well, behind the scenes, in previous versions of the OS, the Dalvik Compiler used to be hard at work. As soon as the App was tapped on, Dalvik would run the app ‘code’ and make it work with the device hardware and the Android OS. This loading of code on the phone’s hardware was simultaneous with the command for the application to be run.

Now, Google has decided to replace Dalvik with a new compiler called ART. What ART does is that it when the application is ‘tapped’ on the phone, the code will already be present on the device to be executed. ART stands for ‘Android Runtime’ and uses an ‘Ahead of Time’ compiler as opposed to the ‘Just in Time’ compiler Dalvik uses. This makes the code for the application ready to be run as soon as the application is installed on the phone. This of course ends up giving the app more speed when loaded. However, the code for the app has to be stored somewhere, and that somewhere is your phone’s storage device indeed. Therefore, overall app size increases. How it will end up affecting the end user and its compatibility with the plethora of Android Devices out there is yet to be determined. All we can do is wait for Google’s upcoming I/O.

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