Will Verduzco · Oct 31, 2013 at 05:30 pm

BREAKING: New Runtime Compiler in Android 4.4 to Possibly Bring Better Performance in Future Releases

Android 4.4 KitKat ushers in several new and exciting features, many of which we talked about last night. One new and unexpected feature addition, however, appears to be a different real time compiler engine. In addition to Dalvik, references to ART have appeared under Android’s Developer Options menu. Not too long ago, Google purchased the French company Flexycore. While Flexycore has nothing to do with ART, the purchase and ART compiler show Google’s renewed focus on improving device performance.

As can be seen in the screenshot to your right, there is now a menu allowing you to choose between Dalvik and ART within Developer options. Switching from Dalvik to ART switches from the libdvm.so library to libart.so. And rather than the ODEX files read by the Dalvik VM, ART appears to use OAT files. Accordingly, Android 4.4 source also includes a dex2oat program to convert ODEX files into OAT files compatible with ART.

It is important to keep in mind that this is currently “hidden,” as it breaks the emulator. However, it has far reaching potential in that it can compile Android apps into more native code than what’s currently available through Android’s JIT.

Exciting times, folks. Looks like Android 4.4 will have plenty of new features that are just waiting to be uncovered.

Update: More information on ART can now be found on the Android Source Code Documentation Website.

[Many thanks to XDA Forum Member atomicrat2552 for the tip and to Developer Admin Pulser_G2 and Elite Recognized Developer Xplodwild for the additional research!]


_________
Want something on the XDA Portal? Send us a tip!
Pulser_G2 · Feb 1, 2015 at 11:30 am · no comments

ITaaS – Identity Theft as a Service with FileThis

It's not often I look at a product or service and say "I really really hope this isn't real, and it's an elaborate fake". Alas, this day has come. It's time for a look at something which cropped up on my radar today, namely a service called FileThis. I won't do them the search-engine-ranking honor of providing a direct link to their site, but a quick search will find them, and their app on the Play Store and iTunes store....

XDA NEWS
Emil Kako · Jan 31, 2015 at 02:59 pm · 2 comments

Do You Prefer Physical or on Screen Buttons?

More and more smartphone manufacturers have been moving towards on-screen buttons, with Google really pushing for it over the physical button alternative. However, there are still a few OEMs (we're looking at you, Samsung) that have preferred to keep things a bit more traditional. Tell us which way you prefer and why.

DISCUSS
Pulser_G2 · Jan 31, 2015 at 02:08 pm · 1 comment

New AOSP Branch Details Potential Build System Upgrades?

While there are frequent unexplained changes and pushes to Google's AOSP repositories, an interesting-looking new branch has been pushed out recently, called "master-soong". Taking a look at the changes made to the manifest repository (which is used to specify the repositories to be downloaded when building Android), it appears there are some new repositories making an appearance. Of note here are new prebuilt repositories for Go, and Ninja. Go is a programming language, created by Google, which compiles to produce...

XDA NEWS