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New ART Runtime Kills Dalvik

Posted In Android - By Techtiplib on Friday, July 4th, 2014 With No Comments »

Google’s Android operating system has been here for a while, almost 70% of all smartphones and tablets in the market today run on this platform. It is correct to say that Android is by far the most successful mobile platform currently but things haven’t always been easy for Android. The platform has seen its fair share of chaos especially in the beginning stages. The iOS grew at an unprecedented rate and decisions were made that would conform to existing architectures and hardware as the future was unknown. At present, Android has matured and the team behind it has been working to resolve some of the problems the platform is facing some that include performance, battery life and generally a more friendly experience. The answer to the mentioned problems as per the developers was to replace Dalvik with (ART).

New ART Runtime Kills Dalvik

What Is ART?

ART is an abbreviation for Android Runtime, ART handles exections in a different way from Dalvik. Dalvik relies on Just-In-Time compiler to execute bytecode (generic version of original application code). In this context, apps are partially compiled by developers while the rest will be interpreted on a user device every time it runs. On the other hand, ART uses a compilation method known as Ahead-Of-Time (AOT) that compiles machine code when a user installs an app. In theory, ART is much faster in execution speeds since it has eliminated the need to interpret bytecode every time an app is initialized.

At the moment some devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 can run ART but only if the user selects that option on the developer settings. ART has been used as an experimental preview for almost a year now but mostly by developers and hardware partners but it seems the feedback Google got was positive has it has now gone public with ART. New devices will now be shipping with this latest advancement as the company is confident of this move.

Is ART Better?

At the moment it is hard to gauge whether ART is better as it is being shipped with KitKat hence not extensively optimized. Benchmark tests have indicated that the new environment is able to cut execution time of apps to about half the normal time which is a big relief when using processor intensive apps. Regular applications will enjoy smoother animations and instantaneous response to touch. With improvement in processing speed, the devices will idle longer which in turn will improve battery life by a significant figure.

Are There Compromises with ART?

Compiling using AOT has its drawbacks i.e. it consumes more storage space since machine code has been compiled fully unlike that of bytecode in which one bytecode can represent several instructions in machine language. This doesn’t seem to be a huge problem since the increase will be about 10-20% and currently devices pack sufficient memory.

The major goal of ART is a slicker, efficient and responsive android platform, the developers keep identifying bugs and ultimately the next version of Android (rumored to be Android L) will surely surprise us all. Android new ART runtime kills Dalvik and it is now upon the developers to embrace this new change and exploit its full potential.

Author Bio:

Lee Tyrrell founded NFC Direct in 2012 with his brother after researching the endless possibilities behind NFC since 2008. NFC Direct is now a market leader in NFC to the UK and beyond, find nfc tags! We provide competitive pricing and an emphasis on customer service.

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