Episode 16

How to optimize Android for low RAM hardware

Published on: 3rd May, 2022

This episode features a spirited nerding out over how we've used and developed for devices with minuscule amounts of RAM. From the days of Project Svelte on Android KitKat all the way up to Android Go Edition with Oreo, we go far and wide while trying to patch up any potholes that could crash apps or the operating system itself. Buckle in for a wild ride.

We're joined by Nolen Johnson, part of the team at DirectDefense, and Sean Hoyt, LineageOS developer.

  • 01:21 - What's the experience of using a low-RAM Android device?
  • 05:56 - What methods have actors along the parts chain developed to manage memory?
  • 11:47 - What is Project Svelte and how did it help?
  • 16:56 - What tricks did device OEMs use to stretch active memory?
  • 21:56 - What does the Low RAM flag do in Project Svelte?
  • 25:46 - What's Android Go Edition?
  • 33:42 - Are there any other coping mechanisms outside of what Svelte and Go have offered?
  • 38:21 - Will RAM optimizations eventually kill the 32-bit application?

Android Bytes is hosted by Mishaal Rahman, Senior Technical Editor, and David Ruddock, Editor in Chief, of Esper.

Esper enables next-gen device management for company-owned and managed tablets, kiosks, smart phones, IoT edge devices, and more.

For more about Esper:

Our music is "19" by HOME and is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

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About the Podcast

Android Bytes (powered by Esper)
A weekly show that dives deep into the Android OS
Android Bytes (powered by Esper) is the podcast that dives deep into the engineering and business decisions behind the world’s most popular OS. https://www.esper.io

Android powers over 3 billion devices worldwide and is the platform of choice for over a thousand companies. You’ll find Android on smartphones, tablets, watches, TV, cars, kiosks, and so much more. How does Google architect Android to run on so many form factors, and how do companies fork AOSP to make it run on even more devices? These are the kinds of questions the Android Bytes podcast considers each week.

Join cohosts Mishaal Rahman and David Ruddock, two journalists with extensive knowledge covering the Android OS platform and ecosystem, as they speak to system architects, kernel engineers, app developers, and other distinguished experts in the Android space.

Get in touch with us at Esper.io if you’re looking to use Android for your product — we have the experience you need.

About your hosts

David Ruddock

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David is the Editor in Chief of Esper, and cohosts Android Bytes. David spent over 10 years as the Editor in Chief of Android Police, where he reviewed more phones than he'd care to admit, broke dozens of exclusive mobile industry stories (and also, phones), and ran one of the web's most vibrant Android communities.

Mishaal Rahman

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Mishaal is the Senior Technical Editor at Esper.io and a cohost of the Android Bytes podcast. At his previous role as Editor-in-Chief at XDA-Developers, Mishaal was at the forefront of Android tech journalism, breaking story after story on new OS features and platform changes.