An easy trick to make apps go faster on your Android

28 July 2014

On certain Android devices, there is an easy way to switch some settings around to make apps open and close faster. It’s called ART, which stands for Android Run Time. This is a new runtime system that will eventually replace the current default one (called Dalvik) as Android moves forwards. It’s currently in early stages, so switching to it is not without a couple of drawbacks, but in general things end up working just that little bit faster.

You’ll need a bit of free space on your phone. How much differs depending on what apps you have installed, but if your phone is close to full then you might want to free up some space before proceeding.

How to do it

Switching to ART is easy, assuming that your device is capable of it. So far, only select Android devices running Android 4.4 KitKat can do it.

Go in to Settings > About Phone and find Build Number. Tap Build Number seven times rapidly. This will set your phone to “Developer Mode”. Go back to Settings and there will be a new menu option called Developer Options. Tap it and find Select Runtime, then choose the ART option. Tap OK and wait for your phone or tablet to reboot.

If you cannot find a Select Runtime option, then your phone is probably not compatible. Sorry.

The reboot can take quite a few minutes; upwards of 10 on some devices. It depends on the number of apps you have installed.

Drawbacks of ART

The reason that ART isn’t yet the default is because it’s still far from perfect. The main problem with the current build is that it makes apps take up quite a bit more of your hard drive space.

A second issue is that some apps don’t yet work properly when ART is enabled instead of Dalvik. If you find this to be the case, you can always just follow the same instructions and switch your phone back to Dalvik.



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