Android build stability

My prior experience with Android build stability in the  past versions stock CyanogenMod had never been good.  Time and experience has shown that the kernel is lacking ‘long legs’ or endurance.  After 3 days of operation, the network radio will giving no 3G or worse an RIL lock with signal at all.  At times I  have encountered app lock up, again after 3 days.  All this time I have use 3rd party kernel for the 3rd party build until .. .. ..

The new version of Android 4.4, KitKat rolled out.  This time the kernel is much more stable.  On a branch of the CM code, an Android build compiled by XDA Developer Markox89, I clocked 5 to 7 days of uptime.  This is with some babying, eg  not tapping too many times on the icon to launch an app, recovering from deep sleep etc.

I was wondering, since I have not been running the official CM in a long time, why not take it for a test drive.   Using the 22 Jun nightly to benchmark both versions,  I started with official CM first on 25 Jun night.  The  free RAM level so far has been going up and down the whole day. When the phone is idled long enough, it goes above 200MB.  This is an indication of effective memory housekeeping at work.  Now to ‘stretch the leg’s to 3 days.

CM 11 official 22 Jun Android build

CM 11 official 22 Jun Android build


Markox89 build Official CM11

Update 29 Jun

After a very smooth 3 day run, I forgot to put the phone on the charger.  Overnight the battery got drained off and there goes my test.  It was very good, uneventful run.  Once or twice the radio needs to be babied to get 3G or 3G+.  There was a time the screen refused to wakeup, I managed to revive it  by pulsing the power button at ~ 1beat /second.  Now for a second run.

Update 7 Jul

After several rounds of 3 day testing, I conclude that for 22 Jun nightly, CM stock version won hands down. I was so impressed that I changed to 7 Jul nightly to fix a call waiting bug.

2014 World Cup Memes

World Cup

The 2014 World Cup just kicked off on 12 Jun 2014 and all the football fans rejoiced.  This time round it is held in Brazil amid reports of poor infrastructure.  But all that is put aside once the games kicked off.  Similarly the Internet kicked off a series of memes about the game and comparing the beautiful game. Since then I have seen 3 memes that worth keeping.  Not all about the World Cup though, but good enough.

The game in general

Football vs Rugby

The superstar coaches

Football and soccer

The header that opened the floodgates.

Immortalized in a meme link Youtube

Now where is Larissa Raquelme?

Luis Suarez bit Giorgio Chiellini

That gave rise to this. More here

World Cup Suarez

Its over, Andy’s Father and Germany won.

Android up time

I think I have it with Android up time.   Or to be more precise, Cyanogenmod on my S2 phone.  With every new CM version, new feature are rolled out CM11 and theme manager etc.  Android latest version, KitKat comes with better memory requirements and management.

Unfortunately, that does not translate to a better up or operational time.  This is the length of time before a reboot.  This used to be about 5 to nearly 14 days for CM10.1.  Now I can barely hit 3 days of up time on CM11.  It is usually due to some the OS or app crashing, locking the whole phone. or  the infamous Sleep Of Death (SOD).

I calculated if there are 100 apps in my phone, the actual number is 146, say 50 of them can cause a crash and takes 2 days to do so.  That would means a staggering 100 days test cycle, optimistically speaking.

I think it would be saner to configure Llama to reboot the phone every night.

link link

Update: 20 Jun

Recently I have encountered several instances of SOD when I had some time.  Since I was in no hurry to make a call, I decided to poke around a little.  The volume and power buttons did nothing to turn the screen.  My home button took an extended holiday last year, so I did not bother. I plug the phone to the charger and the soft buttons back light turned on. Hmm lets try the buttons again, no response.  Unplug and plug back.  Left it alone. After about 10 seconds the boot animation started.  The phone had soft restart!  In another instance, I just plug in and waited and waited and it did the same thing again.

Now to try it out on my notebook.  This will be a data connection not a charging connection.  I wonder if it works.  Or I can use one of those gimped USB data cables.

A very interesting boot animation

This a boot animation from LG G watch. At the point of writing it is starting a small craze as it more eye catching than CyanogenMod’s spinning circle. Couple with the mysterious styling of the word Android, gives rise to the question will something coming over the horizon? Judge for yourself.

If you love it, install it using this link.  Your device needs to be rooted and installed with ES File Explorer.

Just do it.

‘Just do it’.  I need to put this here because the SEO plugin complains about the missing keyword in the first line. I noticed a funeral wake near my parent’s place.  A quick glance reveals that the deceased was the old cobbler, someone I have not seen in years.  I was wondering if  and when to give a small contribution.  Usually I would wait and ponder at length.  If I were to do it later in the evening, chances I will grilled and suffer by death by cross examination by the kids.

So I decided the next action will be get some money and donate now.  Even though it is going to be more than 5 minutes as preached by David Allen.  This turns out to be a silver lining.

Later in the evening, I went back to pick up the kids, the funeral wake was gone.  Here in the morning, gone in the evening.  I felt greatly relieved that I had done what I had in the morning. In hindsight, I went through the decision making without considering how long has the wake been there.  So the morale of the story; if it is not going to cost or cause a bomb, just do it.  But remember say No to impulse shopping. 🙂

link  5 mins

JustArchi Optimization for Android

JustArchi, developer on XDA Developers has revealed a long series of optimization for tweaks Android.  The idea here is that the original compiler settings since Cupcake has not changed.  On the other hand, the target platform has changed drastically with large screens, multi core CPUs and  GBs for RAM.

The article lay the foundation for the optimization fixes.  It sounds fairly reasonable proposal.

So, what is it about? As we know, Android contains a bunch of low-level C/C++ code, which is compiled and acts as a backend for our java's frontend and android apps. Unfortunately, Google didn't put their best at focusing on optimization, so as a result we're using the same old flags set back in 2006 for Android Donut or anything which existed back then. As you guess, in 2006 we didn't have as powerful devices as now, we had to sacrifice performance for smaller code size, to fit to our little devices and run well on very low amount of memory. However, this is no longer a case, and by using newest compilers such as GCC 4.8 and properly setting flags, we can achieve something, which I call "Android in 2014".


Update 10 Jun 14

Flashed a new build on 9 Jun.  Performance, the jury is still out.  The usual smoothness in the interface is still there.  I noticed that the memory management has improved/fixed.  April and May builds have strange behaviour.  All the apps works except for Google Camera.  Yet to find the root cause.