Samsung's experimental Vulkan-based TouchWiz launcher can extend the battery life of the S7 edge

Samsung's experimental Vulkan-based TouchWiz launcher can extend the battery life of the S7 edge
Yesterday at the 2016 edition of the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco, the world's largest smartphone maker has demonstrated a new TouchWiz launcher based on the new Vulkan graphics rendering API.

According to Samsung engineers, migrating the standard TouchWiz launcher to Vulkan has resulted in a 6% battery consumption decrease when the handset performs basic tasks such as opening the app tray or scrolling pages. On a 3600mAh battery such as the one inside the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, this can lead to 40 extra minutes of battery life. 

Fortunately for the Android ecosystem as a whole, the Vulkan API will soon extend to all new Android smartphones. A couple of weeks ago, Google unveiled the second Android N Developer Preview. Among the highlighted changes brought by the new update, the most notable one is considered to be the new Vulkan graphics rendering system. 

There's a lot to Vulkan, but what non-developers should know is that Vulkan is a low-level graphics API that can significantly improve both rendering performance and the battery life of Android handsets.

Samsung's experimental Vulkan-based TouchWiz launcher can extend the battery life of the S7 edge

While all upcoming smartphones (those that will get the update as well) based on Android N will be able to access the Vulkan engine, Samsung has a head start in test-driving it: the Samsung Galaxy S7 already makes use of Vulkan, being the only commercial handset to feature the Vulkan API.

Although Vulkan's most notable application are 3D-intensive mobile games, the new graphics rendering system can also make improvements in the way that handsets draw 2D graphics such as the system's user interface, and Samsung's Vulkan-based TouchWiz launcher is probably just scratching the surface of what's possible using the Vulkan API.

Unfortunately, the new TouchWiz launcher is not ready to reach end users just yet. However, we'll be interested in learning more about what Vulkan can do to solve what many consider as being the worst problem with modern smartphones: battery life.

What do you guys think of Samsung's experiment?

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19 Comments

1. ChowMein

Posts: 76; Member since: Jan 01, 2015

I think it hardly makes a difference. I don't use the launcher all the much. I usually turn on the screen, then tap on an app on the home page. What's more interesting is the apps that are going to use Vulkan api. On a side note, when it comes to battery life, standby time is the main issue imo. Damn you "Android System" & "Cell standby"! I'm using s7 exynos

3. shaineql

Posts: 516; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

This is what they call "True optimization" , now launcher, next up other stock apps. Sammy is going to takeover iOS in optimization level if they continue like this. Other android devices will follow with android 7

5. vincelongman

Posts: 5585; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Hopefully Google does this with Android N, rewrites the animations in Vulkan Apple did that with MacOS El Capitan, it improved battery life and fixed performance issues of Yosemite

10. Mercedes-Benz

Posts: 403; Member since: Jan 18, 2015

Mean while apple already has a low level graphics api called metal 2 years ago since iOS 8

16. vincelongman

Posts: 5585; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

AMD made Mantle 3 years ago AMD donated Mantle to Khronos Mantle then became Vulkan Also Metal isn't available in n Windows or Linux like Vulkan, and its not as full featured as Vulkan either

18. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3935; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

"Sammy is going to take over iOS in optimization level" Sorry but that isn't going to happen. The only Android OEM that can do that is possibly HTC because Sense 8's optimization is very close to being on the same level as Stock Android.

4. JetMK

Posts: 97; Member since: Jan 31, 2015

I face the same problem, also include "Google Services" or "Google App". Finally disabled the Facebook app and stopped using Chrome browser, that definitely showed a great improvement on battery life. Using the S7 Edge with Exynos

6. QuasarExod

Posts: 102; Member since: Mar 29, 2016

OffTopic You really like Chinese food??

11. Cyberthing

Posts: 127; Member since: Nov 18, 2014

Yeah, android system has crept up on me as well. It was very low when I got the phone but now it's second on the list.

2. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

I'm okay as long it available for note6 out of the box :-/

7. redmd

Posts: 1872; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

5000 mAh should be the new 3000 mAh. Happy with my A9 pro.

8. Sdiq572

Posts: 36; Member since: Jun 26, 2015

I think he was compare it with the Good Lock see GL vs VK (vulkan) so i hope it will much faster than TouchWiz Sent from my Good Lock S7

9. oozz009

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

By the time it comes out with android N, Apple's superior Metal 3.0 (with iOS 10) will have already been released:D

12. siddharthayadav202

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 23, 2016

Why do you use the term superior?? You seen it?

17. vincelongman

Posts: 5585; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I hope that's true Because Metal is currently pretty far behind Vulkan and DX 12 in terms of features Maybe it will macOS user to play AAA games without needing to use bootcamp

13. siddharthayadav202

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 23, 2016

Its still in work so we can expect even more efficiency. Android keeps getting better. Ios has been having metal. But I would love vulkan since it is going to be used on a much wider scale and mobile phones can start getting games closer to pc version.

14. Andrewtst

Posts: 696; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Can't wait it release. :)

15. XDAdam

Posts: 276; Member since: Feb 03, 2016

I wonder if the Galaxy S6 will get it?

19. emmawilliam834

Posts: 241; Member since: Feb 09, 2016

waiting for the new TouchWiz to receive the same old outdated launcher.

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