From Dalvik to ART – What are the Benefits and Disadvantages
The Android Os has reached version 4.4 -KitKat and though we expected version 5.0 – KitKat brought a substantial number of important features and improvements. Later on the rest of the bugs were addressed and the OS sits now on a healthy 4.4.2. What are we going to talk about here is ART – the future of the way apps are processed with Android.
Let’s first take a look at Dalvik and what it represents. To keep it short it’s rather like the prefetch service found in MS Windows from XP and up. It pre-loads the most important parts of the software so that the loading times when accessed are way shorter. So does Dalvik – loading the .dex files in RAM so that the app is accessed way faster. And what about ART then. Well ART is the next step of evolution in case of Dalvik. It was first implemented as an option in Android KitKat and has started gaining popularity.
ART has its share of advantages but also disadvantages. Let’s start with the latter. For one the apps require more time to install. Another is that the apps take more storage space. And the final is that not all apps are compatible with it. On the good side ART is still at the begining when it comes to development so hings are very likely to improve over time. Most smartphones these days have plenty of storage so that shouldn’t be a problem. Also most developers have made their apps compatible with ART. So not much of a list of disadvantages is it.
Coming to the advantages – well the ART enabled apps will load a lot faster. There is also talk of a performance increase in certain cases. Think that’s not enough. Well remember that the implementation comes in a form of an experiment with KitKat. It is expected that the next version of the OS will include it by default over Dalvik. In any case, if you are one of the lucky KitKat users why don’t you give ART a shot yourselves. You may be more than pleasantly surprised.