Nov 04, 2013

What did Google do to make Android 4.4 KitKat work better on lower powered devices?

Generally, a new OS means additional demands are placed on hardware. Older devices often just limp along, if they are even able to be upgraded at all. Android 4.4 is supposed to actually work better on lower spec devices than earlier versions of Android. What did Google do to make this possible (assuming it is true)?

New in Android 4.4 KitKat: Everything You Need to Know

"Low-End Device Support

KitKat has been streamlined, such that every major component has a reduced memory footprint, with new APIs geared at helping app developers create faster and more memory-efficient apps. This includes the new API ActivityManager.isLowRamDevice(), which lets you tune your app’s behavior to match the target device’s memory constraints. Furthermore, core system process have been trimmed, and new services are configured to run serially and in small groups, to avoid higher memory demands.

This expands on yesterday’s news that Android 4.4 would be better suited for devices with limited memory. As stated on the Android Developers Site:

OEMs building the next generation of Android devices can take advantage of targeted recommendations and options to run Android 4.4 efficiently, even on low-memory devices. Dalvik JIT code cache tuning, kernel samepage merging (KSM), swap to zRAM, and other optimizations help manage memory. New configuration options let OEMs tune out-of-memory levels for processes, set graphics cache sizes, control memory reclaim, and more.

That said, despite claims of compatibility with lower end hardware, we find it curious at best that Google is choosing not to update the GSM Galaxy Nexus to 4.4. Google mentions that this is due to the device being outside of the 18-month product lifecycle, but we can’t help but feel that this isn’t exactly setting a terribly good example for other device providers."

Android 4.4 kitkat have 11 smart features .

Android 4.1 included a set of speed and fluidity enhancements know collectively as Project Butter. With Android 4.4 we get Project Svelte, which optimizes the platform for devices with limited RAM -- as little as 512MB. Better performance is certainly a good thing, but that's just the beginning of what Project Svelte could do for Android.

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