The ‘Systrace’ Android Studio Tool for Monitoring Performance Will be Built Into Android P

The ‘Systrace’ Android Studio Tool for Monitoring Performance Will be Built Into Android P

Unless you’re an application developer, you’ve likely never heard of systrace before. It’s short for “System Trace”, and it’s a feature built into Google’s IDE, Android Studio. The goal of systrace is to give developers the ability to collect and inspect timing information across all system-level processes running on a given device, which can be very helpful in visualizing system resource usage. Now, there’s evidence it’s coming to Android P.

A commit in the Android Open Source Project Gerrit shows that Google’s building systrace into the next major version of Android. As we can seen here, it’ll be added as an application and appear in the hidden Developer Options settings menu. Developers who use it often will be happy to hear that it’ll also show up as a Quick Settings tile.

The report generated by systrace provides an overall picture of an Android device’s system processes for a given period of time. It doesn’t actually collect information about code execution within an application’s process — there are other tools in Android Studio (such as the CPU profiler or the “generate trace logs” tool) that show which methods an app is executing and how much CPU resources it’s using. Still, it can be very useful during development, as it collects data from the Android kernel, such as the CPU scheduler, disk activity, and app threads and combines it into a handy HTML report.

Developers can leverage it to see which resources are being used while the tool is running. Systrace will inspect the captured tracing information and highlight any problems that it observes, which can include (but aren’t limited to) UI jank while displaying motion or animations. It’ll even provide recommendations on how to fix the issues.

One thing is for sure: assuming this new app makes its way to user builds of Android P, it’ll be a boon for bug testing.

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