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Google buys the company behind DroidBooster to speed up Android, cross fingers for KitKat

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Google is apparently not satisfied with its Project Butter undertaking that was introduced alongside Jelly Bean, and aims to make its mobile OS even smoother going forward.
The Mountain View giant just bought FlexyCore, a French company that gave us the DroidBooster app. The application has subsequently been pulled, but that might have been since Google was evidently in talks with the developers there for over a year, until it finally acquired it for $23 million. That might mean we could see the DroidBooster optimizations embedded in Android 4.4 KitKat already, but let's see what Google announces by the end of the month.

FlexyCore specializes in Android kernel optimizations that make the mobile OS much faster and more fluid, so Google had their own work cut out for them. In fact, the statement is exactly along those lines: “the FlexyCore team has strong expertise in building software to optimize Android device performance, and we think they’d be a great fit with our team”. Right on.

source: RudeBaguette via GigaOm

44 Comments
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posted on 22 Oct 2013, 07:50 50

1. PapaSmurf (limited) (Posts: 8300; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Just another hint that low spec phones will run smoothly soon.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 07:53 5

2. mousesports (Posts: 251; Member since: 28 Feb 2013)


Go to sleep troll !

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 07:55 44

3. NexusPhan (Posts: 474; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


The only troll in this comment thread is you.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 07:58 8

5. livyatan (Posts: 691; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)


What is trollish in what he said?

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 07:58 36

6. roldefol (Posts: 2860; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


I think we've all lost the definition of "troll". It now means "person who says something you don't agree with."

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 08:50 2

21. TechBizJP08 (Posts: 495; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)


I agree..

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 09:01 3

26. tedkord (Posts: 4747; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


I disagree with that, troll.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 08:04 2

8. dsDoan (Posts: 216; Member since: 28 Dec 2011)


I think you misunderstood his post.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 11:16 1

42. deewinc (Posts: 156; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


haaa...troll

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 07:57 7

4. E.S.1 (Posts: 289; Member since: 14 Sep 2013)


I agree PapSmurf !
I'm still waiting for the Nexus 5 to decide on my next phone.
I hope it works with At&t

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 10:52 2

38. Shatter (Posts: 2024; Member since: 29 May 2013)


There is no need to hope. It will work on att. It is Verizon and sprint customers who should be concerned.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 11:21

43. thunder18 (Posts: 115; Member since: 06 Aug 2009)


Actually, I thought a version of it already passed through the FCC with Sprint bands. Sprint's Galaxy Nexus was updated and surpassed the version of Android on Verizon's Galaxy Nexus due to the delays in approving updates Google encountered with Verizon.

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Nexus-5-round-up-5-awesome-new-features-release-date-price-specs-and-all-we-know-so-far_id47236

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 08:18 5

15. PBXtech (Posts: 977; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


It that's true then India, China, and African countries will see a massive influx of phones that are affordable and run well. Only Google getting complacent will stop the little green robot if that happens.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 09:04 2

31. NexusPhan (Posts: 474; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


Seeing Google expand into almost every business sector that makes money (and many that don't), I don't think Google will ever be complacent or satisfied. For Google, it's never good enough.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 09:01

25. maguro (Posts: 10; Member since: 22 Jun 2012)


they just now completed acquisition. how do you expect this to be in 4.4 which is already done developing??

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 10:15 1

36. PapaSmurf (limited) (Posts: 8300; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I said soon, not immediately.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 08:02 1

7. Gemmol (Posts: 537; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


at least google admit their phones be lagging some people be saying nope not my phone, but I give google major props for trying to get their phone lag less, dont worry you will get their google, everything takes time and patience

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 08:07 16

9. NexusPhan (Posts: 474; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


It doesn't lag. There is absolutely no lag on any top tier un-skinned devices like the Nexus 4 or Moto X or Droid Ultra. Google is trying to eliminate lag on the $100 off contract phones that are popular in China and India and other emerging markets. That use CPUs from 3 years ago. That's Google's aim with this acquisition. That's their aim with KitKat in general.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 08:12 13

12. roldefol (Posts: 2860; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Sounds good to me. While Apple is tacking on features that slow down their older (1+ year old) devices, Google is looking to speed up all their devices. Kind of flies in the face of the usual planned obsolescence, but Google isn't in the business of selling hardware. They just need to retain users.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 08:54 2

22. NexusPhan (Posts: 474; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


Such an important point you just made. Google is in the business of as many people using as many of their devices as possible. A great way to do this at no additional cost to the end user is have fantastic software support for old phones. Extend their life cycle. brilliant.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 09:35

35. PBXtech (Posts: 977; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


Agreed. Only downside is that it's a 2-4 year plan at best. It'll take that long for OEMs to start producing all levels of phones with Kit Kat and then wait for people to upgrade their current handsets. It is a bright future if 4.4 is geared more towards low end phones though, definitely be worth the wait.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 10:23

37. NexusPhan (Posts: 474; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


Except version doesn't actually mean anything anymore. All phones will be updated automatically behind the scenes to include the latest optimizations.

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/09/balky-carriers-and-slow-oems-step-aside-google-is-defragging-android/

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 11:00

39. PBXtech (Posts: 977; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


Core apps though. While it's great to see Google take this road, you still need the kernel and OS to be updated to be more efficient. And the thing that is needed the most is longer battery efficiency. The most sold cell phone ever is a feature phone from Nokia that has a battery life of days (nearly a week if memory serves). Places where it's not always possible to charge a phone daily will require longer lasting batteries. Pricing and battery life are critical for the transition from feature phones to smart phones to occur. Everything is headed in that direction.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 11:08

40. Penywyz (banned) (Posts: 255; Member since: 13 Aug 2013)


I totally agree NexusPhan my Ultra has 0 lag when I use it.

posted on 23 Oct 2013, 00:29 1

44. hmmm... (Posts: 56; Member since: 05 Jun 2013)


Not trying to start a flame war here but this is from my own experience, it might be different for others. All phone OS start to lag after some usage. Android just start to lag the earliest. When S2 came out people say it doesn't lag, When s3 came out people say it doesn't lag and say that s2 lags because it isn't using a custom rom. Then note two comes out and they say s3 lag can be fix with custom rom. Each new device that comes out, people claim that it doesn't lag, even the Unskinned ones, but it does lag. When it is new, sure it doesn't lag, try installing 20 games and apps, uninstall and reinstall on all phone OS over a month and see which one starts to lag first. But with proper care, the lag on android is bearable.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 08:15 3

13. in_core (Posts: 80; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)


Honestly the stock google phones dont really lag. The heavily skinned phones like S4 lags a bit from time to time.
And one thing that actually made sense was a recent video posted by phonearena, about display touch response time. Apple uses displays with faster touch response, so in turn things feels much smoother.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 08:56 2

23. NexusPhan (Posts: 474; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


I disagreed with that article. Even on my two year old GNex versus girlfriends iPhone 5 (or really any top-tier smartphone I've used in the last year) all seem to have equally instantaneous response time. I feel like the response times are so fast now that we can't even notice the difference on a touch optimized OS. At least I can't tell at all.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 09:02

29. NexusPhan (Posts: 474; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


And that's all that matters, remember? It's not specs it's the user experience . Who cares if you have faster response time if it's already faster than the user can detect?

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 08:08 5

10. livyatan (Posts: 691; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)


So, a tiny company of enthusiasts knows how to optimizs android kernel better than the very father of Android, with billions of dollars behind hundreds of top-picked software experts.

Now with that said, this is the last piece of the puzzle that was missing for Android.
Not that it matters to me because my Note 3 is as fluent as can be, but it is critical for the general perception and for entry level market which is of prime importance for Android in its quest to win over billions "third world " customers

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 09:01 7

27. protozeloz (Posts: 5375; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Well that's the main deal with open source software, people are looking at things you aren't looking at. Since they know the source code they can dedicated themselves to optimize just for speed, whereas Google has a lot of things on their hands

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 09:01 3

28. carlosechev07 (Posts: 39; Member since: 16 Oct 2012)


Well said bro, to concerms that affect entry level phones, is so vital for Google to release a solid smother devices on developing markets..!!

That's the 90% of mobile market to be conquer..!!

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 08:11 2

11. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2625; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Bring more fluidity like this and optimize Android.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 08:16

14. maguro (Posts: 10; Member since: 22 Jun 2012)


hire franco

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 08:29

16. ChafedBanana (Posts: 359; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


Its already plenty smooth. How about improving lag first?

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 08:37 1

18. o0Exia0o (Posts: 359; Member since: 01 Feb 2013)


If it lags, it is not smooth. Read story before comment.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 09:04 2

30. protozeloz (Posts: 5375; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


"aims to make its mobile OS even smoother going forward."

Even smoother means more smooth with means there is already a considerable smoothness on the Os

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 08:37 3

17. greathero1 (Posts: 476; Member since: 13 Jun 2008)


Well my Nexus 4 has yet to experience regular lag and it's just as, if not more fluid than the current flagship devices. Wheni was at the T-Mobile store and they were trying to sale me a Note 3, the first thing they tried to do was show me how fast it was by scrolling through the homescreens. Pulled my Nexus 4 out and showed that my almost year old device is just as fluid as the Note 3. Stock Android is not the problem, it's the heavy handed skins that OEMs use. Samsung should have purchased this company lol.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 09:00 1

24. NexusPhan (Posts: 474; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


Bingo! I don't think this acquisition is to help lag on skins. It's only to support older/cheaper hardware that run without heavy skins. Google can't fix OEMs crappy programming with kernel optimization. It just doesn't work that way and that's not their goal.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 09:13 1

32. joey_sfb (Posts: 2914; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


actually I try out the iPhone 5s and realise its not as smooth as before, calling out the dial pad...switching between apps.

And Apple is playing the benchmark game more often than before. hemm..

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 08:41 1

19. jbitounis (Posts: 54; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)


The problem with Android lies within its code. Preposterous hardware specs and elaborate software tweaks (Project Butter, DroidBooster) are half-mesures that offer the illusion of smoothness. Don't get me wrong - this is still good enough, given that reprogramming Android is not an option. It's just that I don't like the fact that my phone needs 3GB of RAM, 2GHz octa-core CPUs (and therefore at least a 2500mAh battery) to be able to connect a call the very instant I touch the green button and not a second later. It feels counter efficient and definitely not smart.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 08:49 3

20. o0Exia0o (Posts: 359; Member since: 01 Feb 2013)


Android its self is a fairly well polished os. The reason that 3GB of ram and octa-core CPUs are needed are the heavy OEM skins that are laid on top of the Android OS (YES I am looking at you touchwiz and sence). If you tried something like a Nexus or one of the newer Motorola devices I thank you would be suprised.

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 09:23

33. shahrooz (Posts: 139; Member since: 17 Sep 2013)


GOOD! now give me my NEXU5 !

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 09:31 2

34. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1619; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


Android cant be stopped!!!

posted on 22 Oct 2013, 11:08

41. Penywyz (banned) (Posts: 255; Member since: 13 Aug 2013)


Sweet!!! I wonder if google pulled the app from people that already purchased it like Apple did Siri?

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