Performance monitoring tools for Android // IT Management Solutions

Performance monitoring tools for Android

Systrace example reportAfter building features, eliminating bugs, and cleaning up your code, you should spend some time looking at the performance of your application. The speed and smoothness with which your application draws pixels and performs operations has an significant impact on your users' experience.

Android applications operate within a shared resource environment, and the performance of your application can be impacted by how efficiently it interacts with those resources in the larger system. Applications also operate in a multithreaded environment, competing with other threaded processes for resources, which can cause performance problems that are hard to diagnose.

The Systrace tool allows you to collect and review code execution data for your application and the Android system. You can use this data to diagnose execution problems and improve the performance of your application.


Systrace helps you analyze how the execution of your application fits into the larger Android environment, letting you see system and applications process execution on a common timeline. The tool allows you to generate highly detailed, interactive reports from devices running Android 4.1 and higher, such as the report in figure 1.

Figure 1. An example Systrace report on 5 seconds of process execution for a running application and related Android system processes.

Generating Traces

In order to create a trace of your application, you must perform a few setup steps. First, you must have a device running Android 4.1 or higher. Set up the device for debugging, connect it to your development system, and install your application. Some types of trace information, specifically disk activity and kernel work queues, require that you have root access to the device. However, most Systrace log data only requires that the device be enabled for developer debugging.

Systrace traces can be run either from a command line or from a graphical user interface. This guide focuses on using the command line options.

Limiting trace data

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