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Android Root: Why kernels are key to performance


For those of you out there who dabble in the world of Rooted Android devices, you’ve probably come to the crossroad of flashing a new Linux kernel. Most of you reading this just probably asked, ‘what is a kernel?’ Every time you touch your screen to launch an app, adjust your brightness, or activate Wi-Fi tethering, your kernel is the ‘in between’ that makes all that possible. This is the I/O (input/output) process at work. Your kernel is the voice that orchestrates every action, reaction, and just exactly how that reaction responds, so in a nutshell, if there’s no kernel, there’s no functions period!

When you buy any Android device, you have a factory kernel that is installed along with your current version of Android (Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, etc.) that controls the I/O Scheduler as well as the CPU Governor. If the kernel itself is what orchestrates your phones functions, then the I/O scheduler and Governor are definitely to be considered the Conductors. These kernels are developed for the factory version of your device, which means they are made for what they see as ‘content’ for your phones best experience. Thankfully though, there are options available that can turn even the blandest of devices into something to fall in love with again.

Myself, like many others who are in the Android development world, asked the question of, ‘can I make this better?’ The answer is yes! Despite if you’re asking can you make your battery life better, your phone faster, or even your screen colors to be more vibrant, the answer to everything is yes! Flashing a new kernel can not only make every aspect of your phone better, it can also give you applications and functions that your factory kernels design was never intended for (like adjusting your screens colors). The options though that matter most, are the ‘optimizations’ made when an Android developer compiles a new kernel. This usually means they’ve removed all the unnecessary junk from the kernel, and tweaked it in a way to allow better battery, the ability to overclock your processor and graphics chip, Spam blocking’pretty much anything and everything they see fit to make your device better.

Of course delving into this rabbit whole would leave an endless conversation on the topic of kernels, but for those who dabble in Android development, or those looking into it, you can’t do enough research on the topic of kernels. They will make or break your phone, and sadly without doing your research, breaking it, is usually the outcome.

Till next time,

Source: SkyNet Solutions

By: Chris Raines

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