Monthly Archives: October 2016


Android 7.0 – Nougat

Complementing ART’s existing AOT compiler is “The new JIT compiler”

The “JIT Compilation” is back adding a JIT compiler with code profiling to ART, just to complement ART’s existing AOT compiler. A kinda profile-guided compilation. ART creates a profile for each app’s hot methods and various device conditions.

What it means “Installation of large apps down to seconds instead of minutes as earlier” and “Deliver optimal performance, reduce RAM use, decrease power consumption and much more”.

Multi-window support

Have we seen the multi-window support on Android earlier, the answer is kinda mixed. It is now “The native support”. 

You can now have natively:

  • Side by Side Screen Implementation
  • One above the other implementation 

Though it may sound like a cool feature for the smart phones but could be a cool feature on tablets, oversized phablets, or probably the best fit could be the TV.

Vulkan API

This API is low overhead, close to metal API for graphics units (GPUs). It will reduce CPU overhead, thus boosting GPU performance and probably reducing power consumption in 3D games. The adoption of this API would be slow since the point in consideration is about a complex graphics API which is extremely potent API. So the road ahead seems promising and may not be that immediate.

Direct Boot

In Android 7.0, the android device runs in a secure direct boot mode until the user unlocks it. So Apps that need to operate in direct boot mode prior to the device being unlocked must be enabled to do so. The developer can register different app components that need to run in this state since by default apps cannot run in direct boot mode. So the obvious apps could be important or scheduled notifications such as messaging and calendar apps.

Inorder to achieve direct boot, Android 7.0 has come out with two different storage locations having two different encryption solutions:

  1. Device Encrypted Storage is available in direct boot and can be accessed regardless whether the device is locked or unlocked.
  2. Credential Encrypted Storage is still the default location and it’s available only after the user unlocks the device.

Direct boot without compromising user experience and responsiveness can still improve security. It would involve some kind of tedious work but it is tradeoff for added security.

Direct Reply and Bundled Notifications

This introduces a cool feature allowing the users to respond to messages and notifications from the notification screen. This kinda inline reply function or action is available via a new button in the notification. Thus in practice, users will be able to reply to notifications without accessing apps and the system will take care of everything else.

This can improve the User experience in a number of scenarios and it is not that difficult to implement either for the developers. The obvious apps that could gain from this feature: emails, messaging, social apps and many more.

Other features

There are other features introduced on the UI front, background optimisation and some accessibility tweaks in order to provide an even smoother user experience.

Daydream Virtual reality is going to make in-roads once the right content to appreciate it is available in the market and the consumers are ready to get on the so called “VR wagon”.