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Adam Spriggs
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what others do with talent, I do with obstinate fixation.
what others do with talent, I do with obstinate fixation.

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Android One’s Rumored U.S. Debut To Support Project Fi. http://google.com/newsstand/s/CBIw0tPd5jQ

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Thoughts about Android O and future of Pixel phones

Now that O Preview 1 Kernel sources are out there's some interesting stuff going on for the Pixel phones:

1 - There is a clear commitment from Google as an OEM to get every last bit of performance and the continued improvement of security. Things like disabling build flags from the Kernel config to reduce overhead, improve boot up time, produce smaller Kernel binary size and reduce the attack surface are a big focus and they were rare when they had the Nexus program, specially after the devices were out for production. Development on the Pixel phones haven't slowed down one bit since release, contrarily to what happened with Nexuses;

2 - More often than not Google is concerned about battery life and merges some interesting patches to reduce power drain, two patches actually made it to the nougat-mr2 release (7.1.2) which are related to nanohub (it's microchip processor in charge of sensors) and WiFi;

3 - Google is "wasting" A LOT OF TIME on the Kernel binder driver. If you don't know Binder is like the referee for IPC (Inter-process comunication) allowing Remote Procedure Calls. It's very complex, very old, and it's been mildly patched since Android 1.0. This time Google seems to want to really fix it. A lot of performance issues originate from it using a global lock and it introduces jank when there's a lot of contention. I don't know the whole history, but with O (and they've been working on this for a while) there will be more than one Binder. We now know of Binder, HWBinder and VndBinder. I asked around and I couldn't get much info about this and that all will make sense soon - I didn't insist much, don't wanna bother the guy. My guess is that with O Android will parallelize things a bit by separting several Binder instances for several pieces of the system. Binder maybe for apps, HWBinder for software that deals with hardware (display? gpu?), VndBinder maybe for vendor firmware? I don't really know. But it makes sense to separate Binder through several instances to reduce contention. This going forward (and assuming I'm correct) is/will be one of the most important change on Android. Probably similar to the importance of ART's introduction. Don't quote me on my guessland theory, but it's a fact that Google is heavily invested on improving Binder. Check the o-preview-1 marlin/sailfish Kernel repo and you'll see the crazy investment on that area.

Things are looking hot for Google as a phone OEM.

#android

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