Why you should avoid the ART runtime on your LG G3


When Android L gets its public release this fall, Google will kill off the Dalvik runtime that has traditionally been the default for its popular platform and switch over to ART. Most modern devices already allow you to make this change yourself — but not all are completely ART-compatible just yet.

For instance, ART should be avoided on the LG G3, unless you don’t mind breaking things.

Using the ART runtime does have a lot of benefits; not only is it faster and more responsive than Dalvik — particularly when it comes to running apps — but it can also improve battery life. The only problem is, ART isn’t completely ready for primetime yet, simply because there are still a lot of third-party Android apps that don’t yet support it.

Switching to ART could mean that a number of your favorite apps no longer work on your device, then. In some cases, however, it’s much worse than that. With the LG G3, it’s not just the third-party software that’s the problem, but also LG’s own code.

Android Central’s Phil Nickinson reports that the G3 “shuts down randomly” on a frequent basis when using the ART runtime. The problem appears to be most common with the Verizon G3, with Nickinson able to use ART on the AT&T variant “for the better part of a week” without any problems.

However, the issue could still affect other G3 variants, so it may be a good idea to avoid it altogether on LG’s latest flagship if you can.

It’s worth remembering that while ART is available in KitKat, it’s hidden inside the developer settings, and it’s still only meant for experimental use. We shouldn’t expect it to be completely reliable on all devices, then, until it becomes default with Android L this fall — by which time LG should have its software working smoothly with ART.