Dianne Hackborn, part of Google's Android engineering group, has taken to the company's Google+ social network to distribute some "true facts" about Android's graphics and rendering. She's clearly grown dissatisfied with the amount of misinformation floating around the interwebs and has sought to set the record straight. The first point she draws out is that Android has been using at least some form of hardware acceleration from its start.
Much of the discontent around UI responsiveness and animation smoothness in Android versions before ICS has revolved around the fact the OS does a lot of its rendering through software — meaning that the processor, instead of a dedicated GPU, is handling the visuals. That's an inefficient way to do things and takes away CPU cycles that could be used elsewhere, but the point Dianne makes is that it's not in itself the cause for sluggish performance. If you have a fast enough CPU, you can deal with some software rendering without a hitch.
The long-awaited full hardware acceleration was introduced in Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), and Android 4 isn't "any more full," as she puts it. The latest version of Android adds only a change in default settings so that apps designed for the newer platform automatically have hardware acceleration turned on. Evidently, therefore, the great improvement in performance we've witnessed between Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich isn't simply down to harnessing the graphics chip inside the Galaxy Nexus — Google has improved on all the other challenges that accompany the change in rendering technique. To learn more about what they are and about the way that Android puts pixels on your smartphone's screen, hit the source link below.