What if an app could start running before you knew you were about to load it? That's the idea behind a research project at Microsoft that is playing with the concept of launching apps it knows you are going to want to use at any given time, as if it could read your mind.
Called Falcon, standing for Fast App Launching with Context, the system constantly checks when and where you use specific apps so it can guess when you are likely to use them next.
"We have designed and built Falcon to remedy slow app launch," says Microsoft on the new project. "Falcon uses context such as user location and temporal access patterns to predict app launches before they occur."
The idea behind the system is that if your phone knows which app you are about to run it can then get it ready, speeding up launch times without your needing more powerful smartphones to do it.
"Falcon then provides apps systems support for effective app-specific pre-launching, which can dramatically reduce perceived delay," adds Microsoft,in a demo video showing the system in action.
In the video Falcon reduces load time from 11 seconds to 1 second.
"We use novel features derived through extensive data analysis, and a novel cost-benefit learning algorithm that has strong predictive performance and low runtime overhead."
At the moment Falcon is implemented as an OS modification to Windows Phone, although there is no work on whether it will become a feature in future versions of the Windows Phone operating system.