Let us define lag, jank, delay & stutter

Lag. Jank. Delay. Stutter.

Unfortunately, at least one or more of these words have at some point been associated with the Android operating system running on various devices.

Whether its untimely presence is due to ageing hardware (read: Nexus 7), custom manufacturer skins (I'm looking at you TouchWiz), inefficient app coding (Facebook app) - or even an inherent Andorid platform issue at its core is irrelevant for this post.

Rather, I'd really like to nail down and come to an agreement on what each of these words really physically define & categorically separate one from the other if need be so that there will be no more confusion - capiche?

So, I am by no means a developer so I stand completely open to correction here but here is my take on the definition on the words given above:

  • Lag or delay: The delay or time taken by the system between your finger pressing your screen and the OS registering and then acting on that press. For example...time between clicking on an icon or link and the app/link visually opening. Or time between your finger pressing and dragging on the screen to begin scrolling and the list actually scrolling (i.e. the system does not track your finger instantaneously).
  • Jank or stutter: Non-smooth or non-continuous scrolling which visually results in a list suddenly 'stuttering' when system frame rate drops from 60fps down below 30fps.

These are my personal definitions and for me are quite different from each other. For example, I know when a lot of people say they experience terrible lag then I imagine they mean that the system stutters when scrolling...well at least that's what I think people are meaning?

For me, I really don't have a problem with the system not instantaneously or precisely tracking my finger position. Or even the system taking a fraction bit of time to load an app. What I do have a BIG problem with is the system dropping frames and stuttering when scrolling lists or images - that really grates my balls.

So yes, let me know what you guys think so we can move on from here and complain about the same thing ;)

Side Note: I think the word 'jank' or 'jankiness' is a Google/Android specific word and not a global developers definition.

TL;DR - Let's please come to a consensus on what the words - lag. jank, stutter and delay - mean. I've given my take on the words above.