Rumors about ART becoming the default runtime in the next version of Android have been circulating for ages, for good reason apparently. While Dalvik has been the default since the release of Android, ART was added into KitKat as an alternative, probably to get developer support started. But Google has announced that ART will not only be the default, but will be the exclusive runtime of Android L.
ART has been said to be slightly faster at starting apps than Dalvik in KitKat, though not all have noticed the difference. However, Android L will have a new version of ART that will bring a lot to the table. First off is a promised 2x performance increase over Dalvik. Then there’s cross platform support for ARM, x86, and MIPS (and even 64 bit chips).
Google has also detailed a lot of more technical differences, like improved support for tesselation, ASTC texture compression, and more. This will allow for much better graphics in video games, on top of generally better performance.
A large change like this has long been overdue in Android. I’m personally very happy to see Dalvik being replaced by ART, as it’s sure to bring some significant improvements to our devices. Are you excited about the change? Leave a comment!