Dalvik-vs-ART-KitKat-AH

Get a Taste of Android ‘L’ By Switching to ART

June 25, 2014 - Written By Timothy Ledin

One of the biggest announcements at Google’s I/O conference today was about the upcoming “L” version of Android. This will be a huge update for the Android OS with many changes and improvements. One big change is full support of ART or Android Runtime. This will replace the Dalvik or “just in time” compiler which has been responsible for a good amount of lag in the the Android OS. Google first introduced ART as a developer option back in 2013 with the release of the Nexus 5 and 4.4 KitKat. ART promises speed and zero lag due to compiling apps “ahead-of-time” before they are opened rather than “just-in-time” where an app is compiled right after it is chosen to be opened.

Little do many people know is you can experience this boost right now without the wait for Android “L”. This may not be available on all devices, but if you’re running Android 4.4 KitKat, here’s how you enable ART. Go to your system settings, scroll all the way to the bottom and select “About phone”. Next, you need to scroll almost to the bottom again until you see “Build number”, tap on this 7 times and you will see a toast notification that you are now a developer. Now, back out to the main settings list and select “Developer options”. Scroll down the developer options list and select “Runtime”, now, select “ART”. It will now ask you if you wish to reboot and go ahead and select “OK”. This boot will take a bit longer than usual as it is compiling all of your apps “ahead-of-time”.

For those of you that were able to enable this feature, a few apps may not work with ART. This list is very small and most likely will be non-existent in the near future. With all apps compiled before opening, you will definitely notice a snappier, lag free experience. Hopefully, this will hold all you Android fanatics over until the now much anticipated release of Android “L”.