If you’ve ever updated software on your Android smartphone or tablet, you’ve almost certainly seen that infuriating ‘Optimizing Apps’ popup up card immediately after installing and booting up your device. Depending on how many apps you have, it can take anytime between a couple of minutes and a bazillion years (slight exaggeration) to get past this stage. Thankfully, with Android N, we won’t have to wait for very long at all…
Google surprised everyone when it dropped the Android N developer preview last night, and in doing so, invited us on the journey of development much earlier, as they begin to test and experiment with new features. One of the less obvious new features is that Android’s ‘Optimizing Apps’ screen during startup barely takes any time at all to work through its process with N (Nutella?).
I didn’t personally notice the change since I flashed the software manually using my Mac, and in the process, wiped all my apps and data from the Nexus 6. In short, there was nothing for me to ‘optimize’. But, if you register for the Android Beta Program with a compatible device, then download the software over-the-air without wiping your data, you’ll notice the ‘Optimizing Apps’ popup doesn’t stay on screen for very long at all.
The reason for this improvement is that Android N — as noted by Android Police — has introduced a ‘Quick Path to App Install’, which uses a new JIT compiler (by ART) to speed up app installs, meaning some apps can be optimized for the latest Android versions in a matter of seconds.
Quick path to app install
One of the most tangible benefits of ART’s JIT compiler is the speed of app installs and system updates. Even large apps that required several minutes to optimize and install in Android 6.0 can now install in just a matter of seconds. System updates are also faster, since there’s no more optimizing step.
Processes that used to take a few minutes, now barely take any time at all, making updating software much faster. We’re still getting to grips with the new software, digging through to see what else is new. In the mean time, you can check out our first impressions below.