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UI Speed/Responsiveness

asked 2014-01-15 16:36:13 +0300

mk2soldier gravatar image

updated 2014-02-28 16:37:11 +0300

Robin Burchell _ w00t gravatar image

Hi guys I would like to share a thought with you. I'm using my Jolla Handset for two days now and I must admit that I love the device itself and the OS underneath it.

The only thing that lower the user experience (IMHO) is the speed and the responsiveness of the graphical user interface, I would like to know if in the future (I acknowledge that now the OS is in beta status) will be possible to increase the FPS/Overall speed of the GUI to the level of iOS with A6/A6+ devices (Please don't hate me for saying that :-)

Keep up the good work!

Also please excuse me for my poor english..

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I think this is mainly a problem of the relatively weak Snapdragon 400 CPU. Even the older S4 on older Nokia Lumia devices is much more powerful. The Snapdragon 400 can't keep up with the A6, not to mention the A6X which is even faster. In the end, we just need a more powerful device and double RAM.

Anna ( 2014-01-15 18:42:35 +0300 )edit

no - the snapdragon is surely fast enough - the gpu ist maybe not top of the tops but also thats not the reason. Even my old iPad2 feels smoother... Make a "Browsermark 2" test with "WebCat" from store. It will beat Safari on iPhone 5S by 20% - our jPhone is good just Silca has still some glitches.

Of course you can always fix any inefficient programming with more power... ms-windows ist the best example... but do we really want to go that way?

Aigner ( 2014-01-15 19:34:48 +0300 )edit

OK, accepted. But yes, more power gives a device more time to keep up with future updates. New device every year or two or one device for three or even more years?

Anna ( 2014-01-15 20:56:29 +0300 )edit

I hope future updates will bring more optimized code (and less bugs). So your device will feel swifter after every update.^^

(only because Apples iOS or Google Android is more demanding each new release, it doesn't mean SailfishOS has to act the same. Thats pure strategy by Apple to sell new devices. And Google... well Dalvik was maybe not the best idea - the new ART engine runs code faster so old devices would benefit from that if Google would allow KItKat on it...)

Aigner ( 2014-01-15 21:07:51 +0300 )edit

its software issues nit hw. as an example the slow scrolling is related to a bug. take a lock in silica sourcecode and you will see that jolla has disable fastscroll cause of a bug... hopefully fixed in future update

mike7b4 ( 2014-01-19 12:24:20 +0300 )edit

2 Answers

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answered 2014-01-16 01:42:45 +0300

Robin Burchell _ w00t gravatar image

updated 2014-02-28 16:36:39 +0300

I can confirm that further improvements are coming. I can't confirm when exactly, but I'd say sooner rather than later, I have tried some of the work out locally, and it's very promising. :)

(update 28th Feb 2014: the next release will contain some improvements of application performance)

(update 18th Jan 2014: two changes have been accepted by their upstreams, and are now on their way to trickle down to our releases:,75956 -

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Definitely better with the new update. Good work.

Neo ( 2014-03-18 00:20:58 +0300 )edit

While the whole interface feels snappier apps like the media player seem to somehow misbehave. I get a skip sometimes when i go from Albums> Select Album>(skip)>Song list.

ApB ( 2014-03-18 15:07:32 +0300 )edit

This is definitely worth a bump. Even in 1.0.7.* I still get very noticeable delays in almost all common operations (most notably peeking, and scrolling to the lock screen), and even with the GPU frequency scaler set to performance. Is there a fix planned? The detailed framerate display confirms there are huge spikes in rendering times all across the board...

mornfall ( 2014-06-10 03:42:27 +0300 )edit

Based on vmstat, no IO at all is involved (including swapping), even though there's very little free memory even with few apps (but substantial amount is cache so that's OK I guess). Swap is basically unused. I don't think it's hitting 100% CPU at any point either, peeking back and forth gives nearly 50% idle time but it lags all the time anyway. So I don't know what, but something is definitely wrong...

mornfall ( 2014-06-10 03:47:50 +0300 )edit

@Robin Burchell _ w00t

Is it possible to do something with the transition animation speed. Ie. from tap/release to moving you to the next screen feels a bit slow. And fix the hiccups of course.

ApB ( 2014-06-10 08:07:30 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-01-15 17:31:36 +0300

Aigner gravatar image

updated 2014-01-15 22:02:18 +0300

I have to say that you are absolutely right. I am coming from an iOS device myself and using my Jolla now since 16 days. But the "unsmoothness" of the UI is a major show stopper. Scrolling and transitions produce a lot of frameskips and microstops. Sometimes even Android apps behave better.

Jolla will update to Qt 5.2 in the next couple of month, which should improve things quite a bit:

But thats not all, what could be done, i think. Please test the native Qt app "Puzzle Master" from Jolla Store. It feels smoother than most Silica apps.. One reason could be the missing buffer/layer support in the used QML code for Silica. Enabling that, would cost some memory... but i would like to have that as an advanced option. (Even if that means, that there is not enough RAM left for Alien-Dalvic)

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Commenting my own answer:

Of course there are more components involved than just Silica and Qt. Jolla is the first phone using Wayland and I am sure there is room for improvement on that side. Also the graphics driver for the gpu are always a point of interest, when you look at the performance.

Next thing is the framerate of the srceen. I think its 60Hz. Don't know, if the display could handle less, but a lower framerate may result in a smother UX. Sounds paradox? Well if the framerate is to high, for rendering the whole scene in one frame, the gpu may throw away some calls from the OpenGL-framework and start to render the scene for the next frame.... 50Hz an a LCD would be just as fine as 60Hz... does someone know if this is save to test - really don't want to brick my device...

And than there are the dirty tricks to pimp the UX:

Limit the maximum speed for scrolling/moving things. This results in a slower transition (less swift), but with smaller steps from frame to frame, giving you the impression of smoothness.

Use static pictures instead of complex scenes. Right now if you swipe to the launcher-screen all the icons and the text and the dimmed background are a OpenGL-scene that is rendered over and over again for each position while you are swiping. That is quite demanding.

But since there is nothing happening on that screens (icons don't move around) you could just blend in a screenshot and move that simple picture. To be more precise you would need a joined picture of the cover-screens and all launcher-screens that you can move up and down - once you reach the desired position the original scene is used again, that allows you to start or edit apps.

(just tested behavior in "Galerie" - zooming into a picture feels good - but moving around that zoomed image is everything but not smooth :-( - so my trick from above might not work until that behavior changes ... and might not be necessary after that anymore ;-) )

Aigner ( 2014-01-15 21:34:17 +0300 )edit

I haven't noticed frameskips when scrolling. Is there a test case that makes it easy to demonstrate the problem? And/or is there some way of using the "show framerate" setting in Settings -> System Settings -. Developer mode to diagnose frameskips?

mdengler ( 2014-01-19 12:21:26 +0300 )edit

Fairly new system has always bugs and needs adjustments to work properly. I believe sailors are doing their best to bring out the maximum potential from Jolla hardware, with the help of this amazing community and other sources of course ;)

TimTTK ( 2014-01-21 20:50:44 +0300 )edit

@mdengler Turn brightness to maximum on your Jolla and swipe up and down the launcher-screen. Still nothing? Well than you are lucky and your eyes are not that sensible as mine. Many people are happy with 24fps in cinema ... its standard since almost a century. But some are not ... thats why Peter Jackson filmed the Hobbit in 48fps. Watching a HFR movie on big screen was like an enlightenment for me...

Aigner ( 2014-01-21 21:04:13 +0300 )edit

+1 For mentioning Puzzle Master ;)

Venemo ( 2014-01-22 15:18:28 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2014-01-15 16:36:13 +0300

Seen: 1,484 times

Last updated: Feb 28 '14