Put Your Android Phone Into Hyperdrive!

Just read an article about ROMing your phone? If you have and want to take your phone to the next level of performance, both in terms of speed and battery life you should check out a custom kernel.

The kernel is the central point in most modern day operating systems. It sits between running applications and the actual computer processing parts of your system. Using a custom kernel can allow you to enhance the functionality in this critical system component. Since kernels play a key role in how the day-to-day applications use your hardware it makes sense that tweaking the kernel to perform better is a key driver to performance.

Performance doesn’t just mean raw computing scores. For mobile devices performance also means battery life. Whats the use of being able to score really great benchmarks or running Angry Birds with no lag if your phone has to be on the charger every few hours? Since the kernel dictates how applications utilize the hardware a well designed kernel can be judicious about how battery hogging components such as the CPU are utilized. The kernel can turn down the clock speed of the CPU when there isn’t a requirement for a large amount of processing thus lessening the demand on the battery.

Great! Tell Me Which One You Use!

Choosing a kernel brings in a ton of complex topics. You can read about schedulers and different types of governors till you pass out from exhaustion. Most kernel developers work to maintain a very streamlined and optimized solution. The more bloat and unnecessary functionality crammed into a kernel can make it slower.

All Android kernels are Linux based. That means that each manufacturer when they create a device which uses Android has to open source their modifications to the kernel as per the GPL. This means that for every Android device the community gets to see what the manufacturer had to do to get their hardware to work with the underlying parts of the Android system. By taking these modifications a kernel developer can build a custom version of the Linux kernel to use on an Android phone.

For my money I love the work that XDA member Ktoonz has done for the Galaxy S3 (his kernel is available for more than one carrier). His optimizations are too numerous to list here. Check out his post in the XDA forums and read up on how much faster your phone will be after flashing!

The best thing about Ktoonz is that he really, really listens to his users. He takes one of the best parts about Android, the community, and applies it every day in the forums. He’ll listen to complaints and requests all the same. I’ve seen him add features after a simple passing suggestion. Put simply, I enjoy his work so much that he is one of the few developers which have earned my contribution. He truly embodies the ideal of an Android developer.

If you’ve already ROM’d your phone and have an unlocked bootloader I highly suggest you check out Ktoonz KT-747 kernel for your S3. They’re are a ton of kernels out there, check them all out. I’m sure there are features that I haven’t even thought of that other devs have implemented. Try them out and let me know if you come across any awesome features in the comments below!

I know a proper article about ROMs, kernels, schedulers, and governors should be placed up here somewhere. I’ve been getting the question of which ROM and kernel to run lately and I decided to write these two articles so that I would have something to send people. If you have an S3 and really want to get some good information start here.

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2 Responses to Put Your Android Phone Into Hyperdrive!

  1. Great read! I’m glad you chose this topic because I was unaware of the importance of a good kernal. I need to do some research and find one for my evo now

    • Mike says:

      Luckily there are a few good kernels for the GS3. Leankernel is also really good. It’s designed to be very small yet powerful. I just like the way that Ktoonz listens to users. He’s a pretty solid developer, not to mention that his kernel is pretty solid as well.