Special Ice Cream Sandwich: New Memory Management and Multitasking

We have already spoken of the novelties in the interface and Google applications in the new version of Android, so today we are going to continue with our Special Ice Cream Sandwich with something more technical and has generated much controversy.

Android 4.0 introduces a new management of storage memory, changing the Protocol of access to the memory of the device from a PC. In addition, also has been renewed and enhanced possibilities and interactivity with multi-tasking that supports native system.

In this article, although he had in part already treated in Xataka Android, will therefore give a broader view of how Android will now manage our internal memory, both the storage as memory processes.

Dynamic memory, goodbye partitions

Google has wanted from the beginning, and thus showed him starting this change in Honeycomb, whatever the perception of the user about the memory of a block only and available to all.

Now on Android internal memory is not partitioned as before, and indiscriminately uses all the memory for any purpose, behaving so dynamically. This means that we will have available the entire memory to install applications if we need it, or we can fill our storage of multimedia files without losing space to applications.

These changes override the absurd limit of the partition dedicated to applications that had Android Gingerbread earlier, which means that now users they will not devoted specific parts of memory to any particular aspect, but this will it behave dynamically to keep any kind of information in a single block of memory.

New USB connection protocol: MTP (Media Transfer Protocol)

This new storage management introduces, in addition to the obvious improvement in use, some of the problems. Namely in this connection that there are no partitions, the memory space is seen as a whole, which It cannot be mounted as storage unit at the same time that is used by the operating system.

If we take all this theory to practical use, what we will see is that a device Android 4.0 may not mount his memory on a PC as an external hard drive, since the MSC (USB Mass Storage Class) Protocol does not support this option. The solution is therefore by a change of Protocol, and is the chosen now MTP (Media Transfer Protocol).

This new Protocol, designed for multimedia players, involves certain advantages for Windows users, system that has been specifically created; Although it also entails a minor accessibility not to use the device as a memory external to the use key, which would be compatible with almost all computers and systems.

With MTP USB connection protocol devices are recognized as “ hierarchical ” for the management of resources of the computer. I.e., we will have the phone keeping memory mounted and in use, and can access it at the same time to copy files from the PC.

The use of MTP, as we have pointed out, is a problem under Windows, since the operating system from Redmond includes native support to MTP in its file browser. Linux and Mac OS X, for their part, do not include such support, so you will need an intermediate protocol called File Transfer Android.

In any case, and while manufacturers seem to take the same road as Google presciendiendo of the integrated card readers, on devices that have external memory, this if you can disassemble the Terminal and use it as a removable storage on a PC memory.

Adapting “ webOS Cards ” to the Android multitasking

In addition to changes in the management of the internal memory, also the way of managing memory processes, implementing a has varied new more powerful multitasking and useful for users.

Android already included in previous versions a internal RAM memory manager that freed resources in mode “-demand ”, closing applications as the system needed it. In fact, not was recommended by Google using “ taskillers ” or external to the system, given tasks managers who could close an application incorrectly even while this sleep mode.

From Ice Cream Sandwich, and despite the fact that the system continues managing resources of RAM completely autonomously, We will have a new menu of multi-tasking style of “ Cards ”, multitasking Matías Duarte designed for Palm webOS in your day.

Android will now have a button dedicated to this aspect, and users may close applications they need not have open or going from one to another with just two “ clicks & #8221;.

This new menu is very accessible and intuitive, and can be opened from any application by pressing the dedicated button, which will take us to a menu list-type with previews each application currently open. Close applications will be as simple as dragging them off the screen, and to switch between apps quickly only we will have to find it in the list and click on the preview.

This was without a doubt one of the most necessary and expected after the signing of Matías Duarte, improvements and Android makes a system fully multi-tasking with a simple and quick management of this functionality.

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