Sunday, June 23, 2024

Android 15 Beta 2 adds support for 16 KB pages

Software DevelopmentAndroid 15 Beta 2 adds support for 16 KB pages

The Android development team has announced the second beta of Android 15, which is now available on more devices besides just Pixels, including those from Honor, iQOO, Lenovo, Nothing, OnePlus, OPPO, Realme, Sharp, Tecno, vivo, and Xiaomi.

Android 15 will also support 16 KB page sizes (in addition to the standard 4 KB), which may require developers who use NDK libraries to rebuild their app to work on the larger page sizes. According to the Android team, 16 KB pages offer performance improvements such as lower app launch times when the system is under memory pressure, reduced power draw during launches, faster camera launch, and improved system boot time. 

“As device manufacturers continue to build devices with larger amounts of physical memory (RAM), many of these devices will adopt 16 KB (and eventually greater) page sizes to optimize the device’s performance. Adding support for 16 KB page size devices enables your app to run on these devices and helps your app benefit from the associated performance improvements. We plan to make 16 KB page compatibility required for app uploads to Play Store next year,” David Burke, VP of engineering for Android, wrote in a blog post

This beta also adds a new requirement for apps running in the background to be able to start foreground services. Foreground services using the “SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW” permission exemption will have to have a visible overlay when targeting Android 15. 

Another change in Android 15 is the introduction of ANGLE (Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine) as an additional layer to run the graphics rendering API OpenGL ES on top of Vulkan, which is an interface for Android GPUs. 

According to Burke, moving the ANGLE will help standardize the Android implementation of OpenGL, leading to better compatibility and performance. By 2026, OpenGL ES will only be available through ANGLE. 

Other new features in the Android 15 beta include new functionality in Android’s Canvas graphics system, improved AV1 software decoding, new permission checks on content URIs, and more. 

Read the blog post on Android 15 Beta 2 for more information. 

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