While hardware acceleration has improved how fast the UI is moving in ICS, and made the experience considerably better because, there was still the issue of “jankiness” or in other words how, consistent those fluid animations happened in ICS.
Apparently, those animations were not very consistent at all, and that’s why Google worked on “Project Butter” for Jelly Bean, so they make sure everything runs at 60 FPS all the time, and is in sync with the display’s refresh rate of 60 Hz. Another feature they implemented that is part of Project Butter is triple buffering, which prepares the display by guessing what your next action is going to be.
Google promised us all these new features that are meant to improve the fluidity of the Android OS, and reviewers have been impressed with how smooth Jelly Bean is. But truth is we don’t really know just how much better is Jelly Bean than ICS in this regard. The guys over at TechReport have done some tests by filming actions done on the Nexus 7, Transformer Pad Infinity and the original Transformer, in slow motion, at 240 FPS.
The two Transformers are running ICS, with the original Transformer having a Tegra 2 chip and a 1280×800 resolution (just like Nexus 7), and the Transformer Pad Infinity having a Tegra 3 chip with a 1920×1200 resolution. As you can see, the performance of Tegra 2 with ICS when it comes to smoothness is way worse compared to the Nexus 7. The difference in speed is not that big, but the “jankiness” level is huge on the original Transformer.
The Nexus 7 seems to show less latency when dragging stuff across the screen, although touch latency has also been one of Android’s problem in the past, and I think they need to work a little more on that as well. The guys working on Project Butter have promised to continue improving the overall responsiveness and smoothness of the OS, so things are looking good.
The guys at TechReport think Nexus 7’s smoothness is on par with the iPad now, but they’ll be doing similar tests comparing the new iPad as well, and we’ll know for sure then. Hit the source for other videos.
Hit the source for more videos showing the fluidity of Jelly Bean in glorious slow motion.