Back at Mobile World Congress, both Anand and I heard rumblings that UI performance would be a huge emphasis in the next major release of Android. I remember being told that the goal would be to make performance smooth as butter, everywhere. Today, Google has made that official with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and Project Butter. 

There are a number of improvements we're going to be going over in detail soon, but probably the most visible to end users will be those improvements to UI performance with butter. Google mentioned three key things - changes to Vsync, triple buffering (which was not enabled for the OpenGL ES UI render path in the past), and improvements to the CPU governor. The end result is that the SoC will change perf states based on touch input to dramatically increase touch responsiveness. 


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  • Grit - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    Any release date/time frame?
  • Goty - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    Mid-July for Nexus devices/Xoom, who-knows-when for anything else.
  • steven75 - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    The majority of Android folks will soon be TWO major versions out of date. I predict the penetration charts between JB/ICS/Gingerbread and iOS 6 to be quite amusing.
  • Impulses - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    And I predict that for the most part the only people that will continue to care are enthusiast and the press... :p
  • dcollins - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    Devices that run iOS: 15
    Devices that run Android: 300-4000 (depending on how you count)

    There's a reason for the fragmentation: Android has to be customized to run on many different devices with different SOCs, modems and such while iOS runs a limited number of highly similar devices.

    It does suck to be stuck on an 2.3 on my Droid 2, but it's the price I paid for having a broad selection of devices to choose from.
  • Rick83 - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    No, what sucks is to be stuck on Donut.
    While hardware and software are both still good enough for my needs, the lack of applications is slowly becoming a problem.
    Especially with the user db changes between 1.6 and 2.0, nobody develops for older than 2.0 anymore.

    2.3 is positively cutting edge, in comparison.
  • quiksilvr - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    The biggest problem is not Google; it's the developers. Cellphone manufacturers would rather just pump out new phones and force people to upgrade instead of wasting time and resources developing for outdated software.

    Cyanogenmod kinda helps, but there are literally thousands of different types of Android phones out there.

    It would be nice if Google revamped the Nexus One and call it the Nexus Defragment. Give it similar specs to the Nexus One except up the ram to 1GB, 16GB of storage and an upgraded WiFi and 3G/4G chip. Sell it for $100 bucks WITH trade-in of your old Android device. That, I feel, is the surefire way to take on fragmentation and get Jellybean deep into the market.
  • falko2904 - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    Samsung is offering rebates to upgrade to the newest Samsung Phones. I had an ATT Infuse 4g, and bought a Galaxy Nexus. Samsung is giving me $115 for my Infuse 4g, which is $16 more than I paid for it.

    Go here to get a quote:
  • bplewis24 - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    What's amusing is idiots like you are comfortable with the spin that a device is "running iOS 6" even if it's a stripped down version of iOS 6 that lacks the exact high-profile features that differentiate iOS 6.

    And then you go ranting about fragmentation...
  • winterspan - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    I agree with you in so far as Apple doesn't provide older devices with the same features as the newest devices even if the older hardware supports it (Siri!)..

    HOWEVER, that is end-user feature fragmentation, not OS/API/Processor/GPU level fragmentation which is far more harmful and causing Android to suffer.
    Although this doesn't effect many simple applications, high-performance games and media applications suffer because of the ridiculous number of device profiles which have to be taken into account.

    The diversity of Android hardware is certainly a blessing and a curse; I only hope Google finds an elegant way to keep this from becoming a greater problem. I don't want Microsoft's and Apple's walled garden to become completely dominant...

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