Google: Ice Cream Sandwich Addresses Android GUI Stuttering
Finally, Google has publicly admitted Android has some graphical issues. One of my biggest pet peeves with Android has been Android’s inability to render graphics smoothly despite the speed or heft or the mobile CPU — it always produced a choppy interface. It’s jarring and it’s especially unattractive when compared to iOS. So what is Google doing to fix the solution?
Fresh from the Google Android Developers blog is a post describing exactly how Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) will reshape the user interface landscape. And it’s really simple, too. Google simply updated its hardware-accelerated 2D graphics implementation and code. (If that was all Google had to do, what took it so long?)
Plus, Android 4.0 introduces a new API that allows develops to simply flip a switch to enable or disable 2D acceleration “at lower API levels.” Even better, Google also has made 2D acceleration “always on” as a default for the entire OS. Google has also introduced new properties (“getters and setters”) for generic Java objects; increased properties for dealing with animations; and more robust capabilities on coding applications to properly deal with Android’s layout and transitions inside applications.
Google, ever living in the world of beta, said it’s “not done yet, but the enhancements in this release should help you create more exciting Android experiences and applications.” I certainly hope so.
Android choppiness has been a consistent issue across all Android devices, and it gives many devices a “sluggish” feel. Delivering Android devices that are as snappy as the iPhone 4S and iPad 2, will have both a real and psychological impact on the marketplace. People will be able to instantly “feel” the speed of the device when performing simple tasks, but also appreciating the responsiveness the comes along with a hardware-accelerated interface.
I’m an Apple fan to the end, but I continually root for Google to bring Android up to par with a consistent, sexy and sleek user interface that could tempt me to go back to that world. This latest developer blog post is just more evidence that Ice Cream Sandwich could be one of the best Android releases yet.