For those interested in living on the cutting edge, at least in terms of their smartphone usage, it has been confirmed today that the newly announced HTC One (M8) will include the option to use the experimental, pre-release ART runtime. Announced alongside Android 4.4, ART (short for Android Runtime) is said to provide performance enhancements and boosts responsiveness over previous runtimes, and was introduced in its early stages as a means to let developers and OEMs get familiar with the new code before it completely replaces Dalvik, the current default runtime.
Unfortunately, ART isn't available for all devices running KitKat at this time. The original HTC One, for instance, still doesn't have access to the new runtime, even though it's on the latest and greatest Android 4.4.2. The same cannot be said for the latest HTC flagship device, which will certainly appeal at least to those in the development/power user category. As for the everyday Average Joe, this news probably won't be all that significant.
To enable ART on the HTC One (M8), it's the same as it is on any other compatible device. First, make sure you've got your developer settings unlocked, then select ART from within the developer settings under Runtime and reboot your phone for the changes to take affect. Of course, it's important to keep in mind that because the software isn't completely stable yet, you might run into issues when using certain apps or performing certain tasks. If you have problems, you can simply go back into your developer settings, revert to Dalvik, reboot again, and you should be back to normal again.
One thing is certain: the more devices we see starting to get access to this new runtime, the closer we are to it becoming stable and ready for primetime. Until then, you can give it a try in its infancy, just to get a taste of what's ahead for the world of Android.
Are you the power user excited for the inclusion of ART with the new HTC One (M8), or are you the casual user who couldn't care less? Drop us a line in the comment section to let us know where you stand.