Flux: Multi-surface Computing in Android

Alexander Van’t Hof, Hani Jamjoom, Jason Nieh, Dan Williams

Proceedings of the Tenth European Conference on Computer Systems (EuroSys ’15), Bordeaux, France, April 22-24, 2015


With the continued proliferation of mobile devices, apps will increasingly become multi-surface, running seamlessly across multiple user devices (e.g., phone, tablet, etc.). Yet general systems support for multi-surface app is limited to (1) screencasting, which relies on a single master device’s computing power and battery life or (2) cloud backing, which is unsuitable in the face of disconnected operation or untrusted cloud providers. We present an alternative approach: Flux, an Android-based system that enables any app to become multi-surface through app migration. Flux overcomes device heterogeneity and residual dependencies through two key mechanisms. Selective Record/Adaptive Replay records just those device agnostic app calls that lead to the generation of app-specific device-dependent state in system services and replays them on the target. Checkpoint/Restore in Android (CRIA) transitions an app into a state in which device-specific information can be safely discarded before checkpointing and restoring the app. Our implementation of Flux can migrate many popular, unmodified Android apps–including those with extensive device interactions like 3D accelerated graphics–across heterogeneous devices and is fast enough for interactive use.



Columbia University Department of Computer Science