Google’s FlexyCore purchase could mean a smoother Android for the future



We’re not sure what Google is supposed to be bringing us with Android 4.4 KitKat, but perhaps smoother operating system performance is something they’ve been working on. They’ve already moved the platform along with initiatives like Project Butter and TRIM in the latest Jelly Bean releases, and now it seems they’ve been looking at more ways they can increase performance.

French publication L’Express is reporting that Google has bought startup firm FlexyCore for $23 million, a company known for an app called DroidBooster that can noticeably improve software performance (even on phones with lesser hardware). In ARM’s words:

FlexyCore’s droidBooster is an Android accelerator that makes ten times faster the performance of an Android device. Its principle relies on improving the performance of an Android handset at build-time by generating highly optimized ARM binary from Dalvik code.

DroidBooster quite honestly sounds like one of those cheesy placebo apps which promise to speed your phone up at one click of a button, but if Google believes they’re worth $23 million they must be doing something significant. It’s reported that FlexyCore has already integrated with the Google team for quite some time, so we might see the fruits of this new marriage sooner than later.

Google’s original promise of making Android Kit Kat “an amazing Android experience available for everybody” could have hinted toward their desire to get smoother performance on even the weakest of devices. That said, we can’t be sure of what they truly meant until they make the details official. Let’s hope that happens at some point this week.

[via GigaOM]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. “smoothness” we could all use, that’s about the only thing apple still has on Android, this would be very welcome.

    1. My SIII and now SIV are smooth as can be

      1. Yeah, when not using a TW ROM.

        AOSP Android is pretty darn smooth in my opinion. I do notice there is something about iOS that makes it seems smoother. I don’t know if its the transitions or what, but any new optimizations are always welcome.

        1. Have you tried ios7?? Not smooth at all

          1. I have on my wife’s IP5. Seems pretty smooth to me. Although, I absolutely hate the appearance of it. It seems like a beta build appearance wise. The colors and icons are awful. The swipe up quick settings thing looks terrible as well. It does seem plenty smooth to me on the IP5. My parents and in-laws have the IP4 and IP4S and its pretty bad on those.

          2. Since I’m into computers, I read “IP4” and “IP4S” all kinds of wrong. I’m like, “What do IP addresses have to do with anything and what’s the IP4S address?” LoL!!

      2. Same for my Xperia Z and my cousins S3, both are smooth as can be.
        My m8 has an iphone 5 and he prefers my Xperia over his iphone but he got the iphone from his employer and he doesnt want to carry 2 phones.

        Its just a myth that only Iphones are smooth.
        Few years back that was true but these days a lot of the new Android devices are smooth..

        1. I think people that say their S3 and S4 are smooth with TW need to put a AOSP ROM on it to realize how bad it is with TW. I know that’s not Google’s fault, just making a statement.

          1. I have tried a few aosp roms on my Note 2, very slight difference in transition smoothness. So slight that is hardly noticeable. I came back to tw and haven’t looked back for about 10 months now. First oem skin I’ve preferred over aosp.

          2. Can’t speak on the Note 2 or 3, I haven’t used them. Maybe their hardware is enough to overcome the issues. TW is a nice interface actually and I used it for a long time. It’s just too much of a resource hog for me and AOSP is noticeably smoother on any Sammy device I have used.

          3. That sounds right. The Note 3 has 3GB of RAM. That should help make TouchWiz be lag free.

            You take that 3GB of RAM to stock Android and you will never see lag.

          4. Disagree. I much prefer AOSP ROMs on my S3, the difference in speed and smoothness is like night and day, but sadly I’m forced to use TW if I want a reliable working camera. I’m never buying another Exynos device.

          5. Couldn’t agree more

          6. All my yes.

            TouchWiz be using all that RAM.

      3. meh, i mean they are smooth enough, but smooth as can be? I can walk into best buy, swipe around n open a few apps on a gs3, do the same on an iphone 5 or nexus 4 and notice the difference. it’s not a huge difference, but it exists.

        1. While I agree that the iPhone can offer a (slightly) smoother experience, is it really fair to expect exactly the same from Android? It’s like comparing a 2D Mario game to a game like Skyrim, and then expecting both to run equally smoothly on similar hardware. The simple fact of the matter is, iOS is a simpler OS, and as such, isn’t as resource-intensive as Android. Yes, optimizations can be made to make Android smoother, but at the end of the day, until iOS has as much going on as Android does (read as: widgets, among other things), iOS is probably going to have the edge.

          1. Yes agree, android has more features/capabilities than iOS… but in many phones (not all) it does come with a cost. The thing is it isnt like comparing mario to skyrim, its kind of like comparing call of duty to battlefield. The iPHone can actually do a lot, especially when you include functions available through the use of apps, it just cant do as much as android can. It’s not as gimped as people make it seem.

          2. I know, it was a lazy comparison, but I was going more for the general idea than anything else. I’m not denying the iPhone can do a lot, I’m just saying it generally doesn’t have as much going on at ONCE as Android does, which is why Android isn’t as smooth. I’m not trying to make the iPhone/iOS sound gimped, I’m just saying part of why people love Android (the customization) is also making it more difficult to run perfectly smoothly.

          3. agreed

    2. Actually you are very wrong. Pure android is performing better than ios7.

      1. you got my vote

        1. Apples hardware software optimization is not what it used to be

          1. Apple’s CEO isn’t what it used to be

          2. Steve jobs is missed.

          3. Totally agree

      2. What I’m saying is I wish Google would optimize android better in future releases kinda like the way ios does, listen I love android and it’s all I have but let’s be realistic, ios is in fact smoother, case and point, yesterday I was messing around with my brothers iPhone 5 and then got back to my HTC one and the difference though subtle is still there, we are all android fans here, but let’s not be blind either.

        1. I would agree if we where talking about ios6 but ios7 is not great. I would say a nexus 4 running 4.3 is smoother than ios7 on the iPhone 5s. I love android and also apple. But from my testing ios7 has fallen behind, big time.

          1. Them background process, though. iOS isn’t ready for that. LoL!!

        2. Android is optimized. Each release optimizes it more. Apple releases “updates” that really dont update anything. My wife used to have iPhones, every update did nothing, still looked the same, performed the same. She even briefly had the iPhone 5 and got sick of it, nothing new, cant do this, cant do that, slow compared to all of my Android phones. More features on Android. Then one day she lost her charger, and the contemplation of having to pay $25 for a new one because Apple doesnt support 3rd party devices was too much. She sold the iPhone and got a Galaxy S 4. Even she says its much smoother than the iPhone. So in reality it comes down to preference, and even perception of what is faster. Most of us here would say Android is much smoother.

        3. HTC one with htc’s skinned version of android (sense), yes I agree. But that isn’t androids fault. Try the Google edition htc one and then we can talk.

        4. Stock Android is much smoother than a skin like Sense.

    3. Im not even sure what that means. The Android OS is smooth, im not sure it can even get smoother. You touch a screen it responds, open an app, it opens instantly, the browser even opens and connects quite fast. Can Apple be better than that ? I sincerely doubt its faster, its comparable at best. This wild fiction that people, even Android people sometimes believe, that Apple is god of smartphones, is quite disturbing.

      1. The perception comes from the fact that Android only just recently started using GPU acceleration in the UI since 4.0 whereas Apple has been doing it for years.

        Before Android 4.0 there was a huge difference in “smoothness” but not so much now.

        1. This is exactly what I’m talking about, this paired with the screen latency

          1. No screen latency.

          2. Really? Even though independent companies have done tests between the iPhone and the top android and the iPhone does out perform them, let’s not be blind now

        2. But then isn’t using GPU acceleration bad for some apps? Like they don’t work right?

          Could that be where the lag is coming from? Hmm…

          1. No lag.

        3. Says you.

      2. What itmustbjj said, that plus the screen latency issue, its real, like I said before I love android and would never buy an iPhone but because we are fans of an Os we can’t be blind to what the other Os ‘s are doing that could improve our own

        1. Amen. Thanks for actually being impartial. It’s tough reading the comments when people are just spouting off about how Android (or iOS) is the best and has no flaws.

          1. Exactly, I mean you have to be objective and give credit where credit is due

        2. My wife had multiple iPhones and i handled them personally. There was no difference in smoothness. Im not blind, im informed.

    1. How about we just go the healthy route and scream “more I.c.b.i.n.b”

        1. Ha! Phandroid is in the link. Phandroid now controls the entire universe!!!

  2. This is really good news. I wonder how much influence they had in Project Butter? I’m looking forward to even more smoothness though :-)

  3. Can we get the damn battery percentage displayed on status bar?? That would be nice.

    1. Get Touchwiz, it fixes this problem ;)

      1. And yet creates hundreds more. ;)

        1. I have no problems with touch wiz :)

          1. Apart from the fact it requires monster hardware to run half-decently, and even then it can’t compete with a lower-specced Nexus device :-/

          2. Um mm yes it does, it’s way smoother. Trust me I know I came from the galaxy nexus and 4 :)

      2. Ew, never suggest that again please.

      3. TW is not the problem its all of the carrier bloat that Samsung lets them install. If you get a good de-bloated TW ROM is it GREAT.

        1. UI overlays in general are terrible. AOSP ftw!

          1. But stock Android is so… bland. This is why we install themes.

      4. Ugh … how come I only get one down vote to use on comments?

    2. It’s in the HTC One 4.3 update, and you can add it via Power Toggles.

      1. Haha I have a nexus 4. You would think Google would have added this simple feature to stock android ages ago.

        1. It’s a Nexus. Do whatever you want with it. (xposed-mod allows for this type of thing without flashing custom roms/etc. All you need is root)

          1. This is true. The Nexus devices are made to be rooted. I mean, look how easy it is to root them.

            And you’re right with XposedMODs. I was using a GE ROM for like the longest because I loved the MODs that I was able to use.

        2. Not everyone wants that, I don’t, but just add it yourself…

          1. I tried it, looked stupid. How can one not tell how much power they have by just looking at the gauge. To have an exact figure is quite useless.

          2. Wrong

          3. Right, you’re wrong. Thanks for confirming that by adding nothing to the conversation.

          4. Oh I’m fully aware that I can add it myself by rooting and whatnot. I just want it as a normal stock feature in vanilla android.

          5. What? Why root/ROM ?? There are literally hundreds of apps that do the same thing…

          6. That’s a cool app I gotta check that out. I personally use battery widget reborn. Again I am simply stating that this feature should be included in stock android. That would be sweet lol.

    3. Been on my old old galaxy s (original) like 4 years ago lol

    4. Go into your setting and you can add it.

    5. Have that as an option on my ONE which just got updated to 4.3 but it looked god-awful and i removed it. I can tell from the battery gauge how much power i have. The percentage is unnecessary, you can tell youre in trouble when it gets low and turns yellow.

      1. In this case, since he has a nexus 4 , when it turns red. Even I have a Nexus 4 and don’t seem to mind about the percentage.

        1. Yea because you can see it dwindling down, not sure how knowing the exact number would help someone.

          1. In absolutely nothing, I guess he just loves the way it looks on ROMs…

          2. Actually you get a better gauge with battery percentage displayed vs the 4-5 battery levels that show with current android. It’s just a preference of mine that is all. Got a little nerd rage there buddy eh?

          3. seriously? You don’t NEED to lecture me what the battery percentage helps you on . As I stated on my comment. You just like the way it looks . And I’m not your buddy Victor.

          4. Huh?? The percentage has functionality. Who said anything about liking the way it looks? “OK Guy” haha

          5. Whatever your term is for “preference” It can be anything. Either way, Just install an app for the moment. (:

          6. Um on my GS3 85 to 96 percent looks virtually the same, and you’re saying percentage doesn’t help. Please explain your logic.

          7. Never said percentage doesn’t help. Not once.

          8. Really? You’re really not sure how a percentage number would help someone?

          9. That battery icon is SO horrible at justifying your battery. When the icon looks 50% gone, it’s covering values from 30%-50%. Like WTF!? No. I would like to know that I have 30% so I can stop playing games. LoL!!

          10. Lol, well the phone alerts you when you get down to 14% or so.

          11. yep. This is why theres no need for that status bar in the first place…

          12. Forget that alert. Way too often I’d be playing some get-as-far-as-possible game and then that alert comes through and mess me up. LoL!!

          13. so this is a matter of preference as Victor has mentioned. Does not benefit you at the least.

          14. Did you not pay attention to my comment? If I know where my battery is, I start using my phone differently: sparingly. If I think I have 50% left, then I may still use my phone like whatever.

            That seems quite beneficial if you ask me.

            A preference would be having the weather displayed on my lockscreen. What benefit does that pose besides my OCD of having to know the weather? =.P

          15. I guess you don’t have a nexus 4 on hand. Maybe the fact you have another smartphone that shows innacurate gauge levels maybe thats why you feel the need to know your percentage level of the battery. If that is the case then… yes.. IT is beneficial (:

          16. So I guess stock ROMs with the plain battery icon with no percentage doesn’t count? What about the Nexus 7 1st Gen? Still doesn’t count?

            It’s been like this since the beginning of Android time. I would love to use that icon, it’s sexy, but I can’t. I need to know the exact amount, or I will end up going to a party with 30% battery and taking pictures. I just can’t have that. LoL!!

          17. Just charge your phone if battery is that much of a problem. Either way you need to charge it. I don’t really know how stock ROMS work with battery life. From what I can tell it just depends on the individual if he has this phone that drops battery life from one second to another( like 1 second you have 90 and then in 5 minutes you have 60) It is really a no brainer to have the percentage on the status bar.

            As far As I know. My nexus 4 doesn’t need to have this feature( which is my preference) because I know its not that important. I know when My phone is charged and when it needs to be charged.

            Its just like everyone is wishing for the status bar colors be customized in the next android version. But thats the great thing with android.

            you can have all the customizations that you want and you’ll have a great smartphone.


            Lets wait what this next version of android has instore for us

          18. @BELIEVEinMYTH:disqus what @No_Nickname90:disqus posted justifies why it’s *kinda* necessary to have a percentage… The battery icon says nothing!!!

          19. Really ? downvoted because its retarded to need to know an exact percentage of battery left ? Its ugly lookin and unnecessary.

  4. But android is already buttery smooth.

    1. My Uncle Jordan got silver BMW M4 Coupe go to my blog w­w­w.J­A­M­20.c­o­m

      1. Seems you’re still on Cupcake…

        1. GB Ain’t that much smooth either lol especially when you have many apps, a custom rom and link2sd lol

  5. If Android gets smoother that it already is its gonna slip out of my hand when i pick up my phone.

    1. I love Android but it could get a lot smoother.

      1. Absolutely

    2. We need audio apps. ios has all the good ones because Android’s latency is higher

    3. Get Touchwiz, it fixes this problem ;)

      by @Wesley

      1. Lol, i have Sense 5.4

      2. LOL’D at this one hahaha you made my day!

  6. Does anybody have a link to this “DroidBooster” by “Flexycore”? I can’t seem to find them on the play store. :-

    1. I think it got taken off the Playstore when they were bought by Google :(

      1. Yeah, that was my guess as well, in that case, does anybody have an APK of it if they had already installed it before it got yanked? :-

        1. I don’t think it was actually an app, it seems like a dalvik jit replacement, perhaps it was some form of optimized AOT compiler to compile the dalvik bytecode to optimized native code you can find a bit more info here: but most of the info was on flexycore’s site which has been scrubbed clean of any references to droidbooster

  7. my Aunty Brianna recently got an almost new Infiniti FX SUV by working part time from a macbook air… published here w­w­w.J­A­M­20.c­o­m

  8. its because of flexycore the nexus 5 benchmarks are as good as iphone 5s… so the signs of this investment is good

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