Android N: RIP, Slow as Hell “Optimizing Apps” Screen

android n

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What’s our least favorite screen in Android? You don’t need to answer that because I’m about to tell you. It’s the “Optimizing apps…” screen that pops up just after you install a new update on your phone.

You know you have seen this screen. It’s the screen that stares back at you after updating to the latest version of Android, knowing that you can’t contain yourself at the joy beyond that first reboot. But it won’t let you experience that joy. No, sir, this screen’s shit-eating grin is next-level as it “optimizes” one app after another, potentially over a hundred times, depending on the number of apps you have installed. It’s sipping a watermelon mojito (probably blended), enjoying the fact that you want to hit buttons or speed something up or do…anything (!) to get past it. “Hah,” it often says, “Do you even optimize, bro?” with a popped Polo collar and chuckle.

Yeah, the “Optimizing Apps” screen sucks. It was created to torture you. It’s good at it. You hate it. We hate it. But guess what? 

In Android N, it will become a thing of the past. Well, not completely, but it at least won’t be so obnoxiously slow as it optimizes. There is a whole bunch of nerd developer JIT-ART-AOT stuff going on here in N to minimize the amount of processing and “optimizing,” all of which I have no business attempting to explain to you. Just know this. In Android N, you’ll be able to install apps faster than ever and also install system updates without slapping the blended cocktail out of the “Optimizing apps…” screen.

Google is calling it “Quick path to app install” and describes it as:

One of the most tangible benefits of ART’s JIT compiler is the speed of app installs and system updates. Even large apps that required several minutes to optimize and install in Android 6.0 can now install in just a matter of seconds. System updates are also faster, since there’s no more optimizing step.

As I mentioned, there is a lot more to it than just this single paragraph, so if you are interested in the dirty details, head over to the Android N API overview here.



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