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Android L release to bring performance jump and better battery life
Google is previewing the Android L release, due for the fall, on stage at Google I/O, and one of the big components of the new OS is improvements coming to the performance and battery life of Android devices.
L release will be the biggest release ever for Android; in the performance department, Google will – as rumored – enable ART as the default runtime in Android L, replacing the aging Dalvik. Thanks to ART, which supports features like Ahead of Time compiling, Just in Time compiling, and interpreted code, Google can offer a performance jump of 2x compared to Dalvik.
Android L will also feature better memory collection, meaning that the system will be able to make better use of the available memory. As expected, L will bring the jump to 64-bit, with ARM, Intel, and MIPS platforms supported. 64-bit will bring benefits like more registers, newer instruction sets, and increased addressable memory space. This should help with general performance and battery efficiency.
In terms of graphics performance, L will support features like tessellation, geometry shaders and computer shaders, as part of the so called Android Extension Pack. Google claims that the AEP will improve graphics to levels comparable to PC quality, as a demo of an Unreal game showed on stage.
Finally, battery life will be improved as well in the L release, thanks to features like a new battery saving mode, scheduling of maintenance tasks, and coalescing of CPU tasks. Project Volta will give developers tools to monitor battery consumption and correlate it with CPU actions. According to Google, battery saving mode can add up to 90 minutes to a typical day of usage on a Nexus 5.
Google is also promising 5000 APIs for the L release, including APIs for Bluetooth 4.1, burst mode, USB audio and much more.
Google will be releasing a developer preview of Android L release tomorrow, along with firmware images for Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.
Stay tuned for more details.