How Google uses robots to test Android phones for lag

The Chrome TouchBot checks for touchscreen latency on both Android and Chrome OS devices.

chrome for android
Credit: Derek Walter

Google loves robots. It turns out one task the company has assigned to non-human subordinates is testing for interface lag in Android and Chrome OS devices.

Google’s Francois Beaufort showed off a robot built by Finnish company OptoFidelity that poked and prodded a Nexus 6.

You can check out these tests yourself if you want to see what Google is testing in more detail. As the video indicates, the robot can show the human observers how a line on a screen is actually a collection of segments that slowly fade into the foreground. 

Why this matters: The Android experience can vary widely from one handset to another. Given how important Android and Chrome are to Google’s future it’s great to see such a unique and high-tech approach to gauging performance. Now we know robots are part of the plan for what will hopefully be a very fast and stable Android M.

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