Next major Android release to pack “kill switch” & ART as default runtime

Reactivation lock on Samsung Galaxy S5With Android 4.4 getting older, the rumours about the next major Android version are in full swing. Likely to be dubbed as Android 5.0 “Lollypop,” this upcoming iteration of Android will bring “kill switch” functionality, which is aimed to deter the theft of Android smartphones, revealed Google in a statement.

Already included in the smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S5 and LG G3, the so-called “kill switch” functionality, which is also known as reactivation lock or anti factory-reset protection, blocks any attempt to factory restore the smartphone or reactivate it by putting password protection. Unless the thief knows your password, the phone is rendered useless and thus impossible to resell.

Specifics of the Android kill-switch are unknown at the point but it will very likely be included i the Android Device Manager, which currently allows Android users to track or wipe their lost or stolen devices.

In addition to the “kill switch,” Android 5.0 will also make ART (Android Runtime) as the default runtime on Android devices. Runtime is the software responsible for executing programs (apps).

ART was first introduced with Android 4.4 KitKat as an experimental runtime and has been in testing since, now commits made in AOSP (Android Open-Source Project) reveal that Google is ready to ditch Dalvik and make ART default. ART is expected to make Android faster and increase the battery life, however with ART, apps will take more time at the time of initial installation and also occupy slightly more disk space.AOSP Commits regarding Dalvik

There is still no word on when we will see Android 5.0, it could be announced as early as Google I/O later this month or as late as Q3-end/ early-Q4 like KitKat.

Sources: Bloomberg | XDA