Video: ART vs. Dalvik performance in Android 4.4 KitKat

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 10 Nov 2013

ART has been one of the most talked about hidden features in Android 4.4 KitKat. This new runtime from Google aims to fix whatever little lag issues are still present in Android.

But how much of a difference does ART really make over Dalvik? Someone over at Reddit shot a video showing the difference on a Nexus 7 (2013) running the same AOSP based KitKat ROM with the same amount of apps installed.

Since ART is a native runtime, it will significantly help in reducing the loading times of applications while burning through less CPU cycles. There should also be an overall improvement in app performance and switching between various apps. The above video shows exactly that with the ART enabled Nexus 7 consistently loading Photoshop Touch by more than a second faster. Keep in mind that there are no other changes between the two devices, so it is pretty significant that users can see significantly shorter loading times with just the switch to ART runtime.

I have been using the ART runtime on my Nexus 4 running an AOSP KitKat based ROM, and the difference it makes is pretty significant in day-to-day usage. If and when Google decides to replace Dalvik with ART , all the lag issues that still plague Android will be solved once and for all.