Google To Open Source Its WALT Latency Timer Tool

Google on its Android Developer blog announced that it is open sourcing its WALT Latency Timer. The company goes on to say that it has been using the tool in its Chrome OS and Android divisions in order to measure and minimize touch and audio latency, but now all developers will be able to take advantage of the tool.
 
Latency is now essentially the time between you tapping on something on your display and whatever you tapped actually occurring, hence by reducing latency, Google is now able to make a faster and smoother experience for the end-user.
 
Google in its official blog states,
 
“When you use a mobile device, you expect it to respond instantly to your touch or voice: the more immediate the response, the more you feel directly connected to the device. Over the past few years, we have been trying to measure, understand, and reduce latency in our Chromebook and Android products",

"Before we can reduce latency, we must first understand where it comes from. In the case of tapping a touchscreen, the time for a response includes the touch-sensing hardware and driver, the application, and the display and graphics output. For a voice command, there is time spent in sampling input audio, the application, and in audio output. Sometimes we have a mixture of these (for example, a piano app would include touch input and audio output).”
 
One prominent feature of WALT is that it synchronizes the external hardware clock with Chrome OS or Android within a millisecond, which would permit for the input and output latencies to be measured separately.
 
Google states,
 
“An important innovation in WALT (a descendant of QuickStep) is that it synchronizes an external hardware clock with the Android device or Chromebook to within a millisecond. This allows it to measure input and output latencies separately as opposed to measuring a round-trip latency.”
 
The code of WALT is now available on GitHub, and it’s important to note that there is some hardware which goes into testing.
 
The company states,
 
“WALT is simple. The parts cost less than $50 and with some basic hobby electronics skills, you can build it yourself.”
 
Google concluded by saying,
 
“We’ve been using WALT within Google for Nexus and Chromebook development. We’re now opening this tool to app developers and anyone who wants to precisely measure real-world latencies. We hope that having readily accessible tools will help the industry as a whole improve and make all our devices more responsive to touch and voice.”