Want ART on your Android 4.4 powered Nexus 5,4, 7 and 10? Here's how

Want ART on your Android 4.4 powered Nexus 5,4, 7 and 10? Here's how
You might recall that back in November, we told you how Android 4.4 features Android RunTime on an experimental basis. The runtime environment is actually disabled on Android 4.4 as the Dalvik VM continues to use its "just-in-time" process for compiling the bytecode of an app. Dalvik won't compile the bytecode until you open an app. With ART, the bytecode is compiled when you install the app. This head start allows ART to run an app twice as fast as Dalvik while using half the resources of the processor.

If you own the Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 or Nexus 10, and they are powered by Android 4.4.2, you can enable ART to run on your device and have a fairly smooth ride. ART wasn't ready for prime time on Android 4.4, but the later build seems to be offering a better experience.

Let's get going. First, you need to enable Developer Options on your Nexus device. Go to Settings > About and find the build number. Tap it repeatedly. You'll be prompted when you are close to enabling Developer Options, and then you will see the final prompt.

Now, go to Developer options and scroll down to "Select runtime." Pick ART and it is all over but the shouting. Your Nexus device will reboot which should take at least 20 minutes and all of your apps will be converted to ART. Keep in mind that not all apps have been configured to work with ART.

The last step is to let us know if you notice the difference in speed when opening and running apps on your Nexus device. Eventually, all Android devices will be using ART.

source: RedmondPie



1. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2279; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

I knew that. Just saying. EDIT: I'll do that when all apps have been optimised.

11. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Going to hijack this comment here, DO NOT DO THIS. It will reset most off your app data for games and such. There is no real benefit to this at the moment so do not attempt it.

12. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2279; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Alright thanks.

17. tedkord

Posts: 17414; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I haven't noticed any app data lost. I have noticed that some apps didn't restore properly with titanium backup, and need to be uninstalled and reinstalled.

18. jove39

Posts: 2147; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Real or not...but I have noticed youtube app opens (first time after reboot) little faster with ART. My N5 is running ART from day one and had no problem.

2. varuntis1993

Posts: 49; Member since: Jun 13, 2012

I think every Nexus user already knows that.

3. ringone

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 01, 2014

In Moto g it's possible too. I don't know how work, but it's possible.

4. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

C'mon people, articles like this are important because there's always going to be new users. And sometimes us veterans need reminding as well so we don't become complacent.

5. HildyJ

Posts: 338; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Question - if an app is not configured to work with ART, will the app fail (close or error message) when opened after reboot or will it fall back to JIT? Also, for recalcitrant apps, is there an error log generated during the compile process?

6. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

ART was probably the best thing mobile tech gave us last year. It's incredible! My Nexus 4 smacks all the Davlik running Note 3s, G2s, Ones and Z1s around, checked it, all lag behind. It's such a joy that I gave up the desire to get the Nexus 5, money well saved for something else.

26. 1701nino unregistered

Yeah i turned it on a month ago also on my nexus 4,so happy with it,everything is smooth as butter and for some reason my battery lasts longer.And now with the google experience launcher everything is like on nexus 5,perfect.

7. alrightihatepickingusernames

Posts: 474; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

I switched it on in late November and I forgot about it until now. I didn't notice a difference then but if it's optimized now I might switch it back to see Dalvik is any worse.

8. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

I did the same thing with my N7 and forgot it was activated. Both seem to run fine though, not sure which was faster because both run great. I'm leaving ART on though, mainly because it seems to be the direction Android is going.

9. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Using it since it showed up. All my apps work fine with it, YMMV. It either works or it don't for those wondering. Not ever going back to jit/dalvik. Surprised no mention of dalvik an bionic patches, they make a big difference in dalvik mainly, but some small boost to ART as well.

33. SellPhones82

Posts: 569; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Yeah, I've thought about switching but use xposed framework and I don't believe it's compatible with ART at this time. I've also been use the bionic patches on my N5 and the phone flies so I've had no reason to even try it.

10. mrbtree98

Posts: 50; Member since: Aug 04, 2012

it should be added that the nexus 7 2012 tegra 3 model can't use art for some reason on the stock firmware. custom roms are fine just with stock, google didn't add it in.

13. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

the Moto X on 4.4.2 supports this change as well. ;)

19. jacobxtyler

Posts: 29; Member since: Oct 02, 2012

Have you tested it yet? Making the change now on my VZW Moto X.

22. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

my 5S is my current primary so not extensively yet but i noticed it loaded my instagram feed faster than usual. even faster than on my 5S.

28. jacobxtyler

Posts: 29; Member since: Oct 02, 2012

Other than taking forever to 'optimize' at boot, i can't really tell much of a difference. Moto X is already pretty snappy.

30. blazee

Posts: 414; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

I'm tempted to try this on my tmovBile moto x. Did you loose any app data when you switched?

32. true1984

Posts: 869; Member since: May 23, 2012

htc one as well

14. aco96

Posts: 244; Member since: Oct 12, 2012

I have Samsung ATIV S and I was thinking about buying LG G2. Should I buy it?

15. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

That is up to you and your feeling on it. Weigh your options, make the best choice for yourself. Be happy with your choice and enjoy it regardless of us all.

16. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

I own a G2, great phone. I was looking at the G2 and the Moto X but went with the G2 because the screen size is incredible for such a small phone. Battery life is outstanding too. I'd recommend swinging by your carrier store and taking a look at one in real life.

20. philipjfry

Posts: 7; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

ART is not available for Nexus 10s.

23. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

I do not use it because it does not support Xposed

24. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Thanks for the headups, thought about switching to ART but I'm using Xposed as well

25. jagreci

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 14, 2013

The one thing I don't like about ART is that when you shut your N5 down and turn it back on for any reason, it takes 5 minutes to get to full boot. The phone goes through the app optimizing again and with dalvik the phone takes about 30 seconds to get to full boot. That part kinda sucks if you need to use your phone when your wife is trying to get a hold of you at WalMart and your just getting off work waiting for your phone to boot up and then she gets mad because you didn't answer your phone, ha! Just saying.

27. tehalley

Posts: 13; Member since: Jul 03, 2012

Not there on a Nexus 10 tablet...

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.