I just updated my Nexus 7 to Android 4.4 KitKat and was looking forward to testing out ART, but that option isn't available. I got word that the Nexus 10 also lack this option, but I can't find any info as to why that is.

Anybody have anything to share? Of course, they would need an AOT compiler for that platform, but how big of a difference is there between Nexus 7 and Nexus 4? They are both ARMv7, although Nexus 4 is A5-based and Nexus 7 is A9-based (according to my research). Why would that make a difference?

  • 1
    (Disclaimer: Pure speculation) This may have something to do with the fact that the 2012 Nexus 7's CPU is a Tegra, and the Nexus 10's is an Exynos. Perhaps Nvidia and Samsung have something to do with it - but I have no idea if it would be a technical thing or a political thing.
    – dotVezz
    Nov 14, 2013 at 13:51
  • That is however rather strange, since on custom ROM builds ART works well on Nexus 10.
    – Mavrik
    Nov 15, 2013 at 14:33
  • I'm posting this from an LG Optimus 4X HD running Cyanogenmod 11 (Kitkat). I'm using ART with no problems and this phone has a Tegra chip.
    – Kalamane
    Mar 21, 2014 at 1:11

5 Answers 5


I just submitted a bug report to Android issue tracker. Maybe we'll receive some feedback from developers: https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=62375

  • 1
    I don't think the Android Open Source Project Bug Tracker is the appropriate place to submit such "feature request". It's something Google has to arrange and has nothing to do with AOSP (nor its bug tracker).
    – Flow
    Dec 2, 2013 at 19:57
  • Could you suggest a better place for such request? It's not actually a feature request, but a potential bug report if ART was omitted by mistake Dec 3, 2013 at 20:57
  • AFAIK there is no better place. Google doesn't have public bug trackers for their commercial products. Even if you would consider this as bug report, it would be a bug report for a commercial Google product, and not for AOSP.
    – Flow
    Dec 3, 2013 at 21:04
  • I understand that this is a bug for a commercial distribution. But I think that this place is appropriate for such an issue as there is no better place and most of android AOSP developers work for Google. Dec 4, 2013 at 21:34
  • Because I stumbled across it: The ideal place for such requests is likely the official Nexus Forum at Google's Product Forums.
    – Flow
    Dec 10, 2013 at 13:20

It looks like the current OTA update to 4.4 is missing the runtime switcher for the 2012 version of the Nexus 7.

  • Thanks, but that I already know :) Was more curious to if someone had stumbled across an explanation to why that is.
    – jishi
    Nov 14, 2013 at 21:12
  • It's a bit odd alright and typical of Google and the OEMs there's a dearth of information. Best guess is a gradual roll out due to issues with it. Many apps are not up to date for ART (whatsapp doesn't work under it at all for example). Kitkat is fragmenting already.... I really wonder why I expected something different this time. If I find out anything later from my buddies in Google I'll let you know.
    – RossC
    Nov 15, 2013 at 14:51

Apparently ART is only available for Snapdragon-based devices. I can switch the runtime on N4, N5 and new N7 which are all based on Snapdragon but not on the first gen N7 (Tegra 3) and N10 (Exynos). It is plausible to make such restriction (because it can break the system) if the devs aren't tested it enough on devices other than Snapdragon.

And we all know that ART is still experimental and not production ready. Therefore, "fragmentation" doesn't apply here.

  • 2
    However, AOSP based roms do have that option and it seems to work for them. soo...
    – jishi
    Nov 20, 2013 at 16:29

First of all, this is all going to depend on what you're operating on. If you're on a OTA update (stock ROM), it may or may not be included (which I can't tell you if it is or not, based on that I've never used a stock rom), but if it is included, it'd be under the developers options menu. Custom ROMs, like the one that I'm using, do include the option to switch to ART on the same device you're asking about (specifically, grouper, or the 2012 Nexus 7), but that's not to say all custom roms will include the feature. It all depends on what the developer of the ROM has included in it.

Google's OTA update might not have this feature included because of, at this time, it is still a work in progress. If it's not in the developer's options yet, be patient, wait a while for them to implement the use of ARM more universally, and then make the switch. If you don't know how to get to the developer's options menu, then maybe your knowledge base of android should be aged some before rushing into asking "why it's not included" when it very well could be.


From AOSP Issue Tracker #62375 which was posted by Max Romanovsky, it's working as intended due to space limitation in /system partition:

Post #19

I believe this is WAI (ed. Working As Intended) due to flash space limitations, but over to anwarg to confirm.

Post #87

As per #19, there were space limitations in the /system partition for Nexus 7 (2012) and Nexus 10. The AOSP builds have more room because they only include the AOSP apps. Also, including ART along sided Dalvik as a developer option in 4.4 required not stripping .dex files from system JAR and APK files, which added additional pressure on top of just adding the libart.so related files.

However, Nexus 7 (2012) and Nexus 10 can be upgraded to Android 5.x Lollipop which runs on ART exclusively:

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