Change the Runtime and make your Android Kikat device faster

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Before you start reading this article, let me give you a disclaimer that I am about to be really geeky. If you have never learnt about the basics of computing then this article might just go over your head. For everyone who does not wish to read all that science written in this article can do the following to make their Android Kitkat smartphones faster.

Make your Kitkat Device Faster

Go to the Settings, scroll down and search for an option named About Phone. Tap it and then keep tapping on Build Number, until it says that the developer options have been unlocked.


Now go back to the Settings menu, scroll down and you will see an option named ‘Developer Options’. Tap it.

You will see an option named ‘Select Runtime’. For every Kitkat device, this option will have Dalvik as its default value. Change it to ART.


That’s it!! You will see a marginal improvement in battery and responsiveness of your device.

Whats the Logic behind this?

ART is a latest runtime developed by Google for their Android devices. It is better than Dalvik runtime in terms of Memory allocation and compilation of application codes. In the latest Android device with Android Lollipop, you will not have any option to choose between ART and Dalvik because ART is better than Dalvik in many aspects and it is a default runtime in Android lollipop devices.

Dalvik has been compiling you applications whenever you launched them (or needed them). So each time when you application was running, it was executing some of repetitive tasks such as method verification, class verification and few others. ART takes care of all these tasks while it is getting installed and that is the reason it is also being called as AOT (Ahead of Time Compiler).

It takes a little longer for applications to get installed, because they get compiled to the native application codes. So, your application gets launched quickly and appears to be more responsive.

Another upgrade in this runtime is the garbage collection method. Dalvik had a Garbage collector which used to pause twice for freeing up the memory for a new application. The total duration of this pause accounted to be of 10ms. However, ART has a Garbage Collection which pause only once and the total duration of that pause will be 2ms only. So, these factor are responsible for increasing the switching speed of the application.

Apart from this, it also buffs up the battery by a small margin, but I am really not sure about the logic behind it. So, stay tuned to know more about such tips and tricks for your smartphone.

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Abhirup is our guest blogger on education apps and thought partner. He harbors certain thoroughly misguided self-impressions like he has a refined aesthetic sense (our website’s visuals are NOT inspired by his ideas) or that he has a deep baritone. However, we choose to ignore these as he sometimes comes up with good ideas notwithstanding the fact that they are articulated in confusing managerial jargon; perhaps explained by the fact that he is an MBA from IIM Bangalore.

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