Android UI Rendering Akin to Microsoft Windows 1.0

Tuesday, August 2, 2011
By OP Editor

Reason why Android devices with more powerful hardware are sluggish when compared to the iPhone.

Android UI Windows 1.0 snail slow

Android Rendering System Software Based

iOS and Android developer Nick Farina describes his experience building Meridian [App Store] for Android. There’s a bit on Android’s software based UI performance:

The thing to realize about Android is that it used to look like this:

Android before iPhone

It was conceived and designed during the pre-iPhone days of Blackberry and Windows Mobile, and the influence of those platforms goes very deep into the Android OS.

For instance. The rendering system, that is, the method by which UI widgets like menus and buttons and such get painted on the screen, is primarily software-based… the whole screen must be reconsidered and redrawn.

This is the basic method used in GDI, the rendering system introduced with Microsoft Windows 1.0. That sounds damning, but really most GUIs operated this way.

Until the iPhone came along…

And why Apple iOS devices are so responsive:

“Everything on iOS is drawn using OpenGL. This is why animation on iOS is so hopelessly fast.”

Android’s lack of guidance (except when a product competes with Google’s own data collection efforts) actually limits the user experience:

“Android seems to have made the decision early on that they wouldn’t force their manufacturing partners to include a GPU. This decision made total sense back in the pre-iPhone days, but now it’s causing pain, as even the new hardware acceleration in Android 3.0 is limited by the original software-based compositing system.”

OP: Odds are, the lack of native hardware acceleration probably contributes to short battery life issues with Android devices.

Nick Farina also explains other Android deficiencies at nfarina:

[nfarina via Daring Fireball]


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Tags: Android, Apple, iPhone

2 Responses to “Android UI Rendering Akin to Microsoft Windows 1.0”

  1. Don

    In other words: Google is evil! Just like Microsoft did with Windows to the Mac, so is Google doing with Android, only this time it’s clear that Google deliberately stole most of what is in Android from iOS!


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