Linaro, which bills themselves as a non-profit team of engineers looking to make Linux kick ass and take names, have been playing around with the source code for Google’s mobile operating system, Android. They reckon that the tweaks they’ve made can increase performance by as much as 100% in certain benchmarks. The video below demonstrates that. Now what exactly did they do to make Android faster? According to CNXSoft, they “used gcc 4.7 and built Android ICS without -fno-strict-aliasing and with -O3 compiler flag”. In other words, we have no idea what sort of crazy voodoo was done, but we’re thankful that someone did it if it ends up improving Android’s user experience.
Will Linaro’s tweaks be incorporated into Android? Ryan Paul from Ars.Technica says yes, but he doesn’t have any additional details. It’s widely acknowledge that Google’s approach to open source is quite laughable. They publish source code because they’re required to by law, but more often than not they work on Android in secret and simply “throw their code over the fence” whenever the next version of their OS hits the market. In other words, they don’t work with the wider community. This is obviously done to prevent corporate espionage, but still, we can’t help but think that there are countless numbers of geeks out there who have significant amounts of free time that they could be pouring into making one of the most successful software projects to ever be released even better.
Speaking about Android, Google’s annual I/O event is taking place on the 27th, so expect to hear about “Jelly Bean”, what’s new in Chrome, and how Google plans on competing with the likes of Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone. There are also rumors that they’ll unveil a $199 tablet that they’ll sell through the Google Play Store.