Today, we published an updated MobileXPRT 3 build, version 184.108.40.206, on MobileXPRT.com and in the Google Play Store. The new build fixes an issue that was causing crashes on Xiaomi phones. Xiaomi holds significant market share in China, so we wanted to address the issue as soon as possible.
Xiaomi phones use a proprietary Android-based firmware called MIUI, which requires apps to communicate with the system in a specific way. When we originally built MobileXPRT 3, Android allowed an app’s code to send implicit messages calling certain classes of actions. In MIUI, the code must broadcast explicit messages that call the exact action necessary (e.g., waking from sleep). The requirement can improve security by allowing more granular levels of user control, and save power by restricting the number of unseen tasks that apps can run in the background without a user’s knowledge. The new MobileXPRT 3 build code complies with MIUI’s requirements. Other Android-based platforms will likely require explicit messages in the near future, so we’re hoping the new build will be relatively future proof.
We also fixed a few small UI bugs and improved the accuracy of the system hardware information that the app reports when a user submits a set of results. None of these changes affect performance, so scores from prior MobileXPRT 3 builds are comparable to those from the new build. If you have any questions or comments about MobileXPRT 3, please let us know.
We’re excited to announce that MobileXPRT 3 is now available to the public! MobileXPRT 3 is the latest version of our popular tool for evaluating the performance of Android devices. The BenchmarkXPRT Development Community has been using a community preview for several weeks, but now anyone can run the tool and publish their results.
Compatible with systems running Android 5.0 and above, MobileXPRT 3 includes the same performance workloads as MobileXPRT 2015 (Apply Photo Effects, Create Photo Collages, Create Slideshow, Encrypt Personal Content, and Detect Faces to Organize Photos), plus a new optical character recognition-based workload called Scan Receipts for Spreadsheet.
MobileXPRT 3 is available at MobileXPRT.com and on the Google Play Store. Alternatively, you can download the app using either of the links below:
After trying out MobileXPRT 3, please submit your scores here and send any comments to BenchmarkXPRTsupport@principledtechnologies.com. To see test results from a variety of systems, go to MobileXPRT.com and click View Results, where you’ll find scores from a variety of Android devices. We look forward to seeing your results!
Ars Technica recently published a deep-dive review of Android 8.0 (Oreo) that contains several interesting tidbits about what the author called “Android’s biggest re-architecture, ever.” After reading the details, it’s hard to argue with that assessment.
The article’s thorough analysis includes a list of the changes Oreo is bringing to the UI, notification settings, locations service settings, and more. In addition to the types of updates that we usually see, a few key points stand out.
- Project Treble, a complete reworking of Android’s foundational structure intended to increase the speed and efficiency of update delivery
- A serious commitment to eliminating silent background services, giving users more control over their phone’s resources, and potentially enabling significant gains in battery life
- Increased machine learning/neural network integration for text selection and recognition
- A potential neural network API that allows third-party plugins
- Android Go, a scaled-down version of Android tuned for budget phones in developing markets
There’s too much information about each of the points to discuss here, but I encourage anyone interested in Android development to check out the article. Just be warned that when they say “thorough,” they mean it, so it’s not exactly a quick read.
Right now, Oreo is available on only the Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones, and will not likely be available to most users until sometime next year. Even though widespread adoption is a way off, the sheer scale of the expected changes requires us to adopt a long-term development perspective.
We’ll continue to track developments in the Android world and keep the community informed about any impact that those changes may have on MobileXPRT and BatteryXPRT. If you have any questions or suggestions for future XPRT/Android applications, let us know!