Android Lag, Even With Project Butter?

ReanimationN

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 7, 2011
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Australia
Ever since the advent of Project Butter, Android is basically meant to be on a par with iOS when it comes to responsiveness, right? Has anyone found this isn't the case?

I know when I was looking at videos, trying to decide whether to get the Nexus 7 or not, the reviewers would show off the responsiveness of Project Butter as a key feature. To do this, they'd often flick between home screens or open up the browser and do quick flicks up and down the page. The Nexus, for the most part, does perform those actions very quickly, it's when you slow things down that it seems to fall apart.

The vast majority of the time I do my browsing by placing a finger on the screen and dragging up very slowly as I read down the page. The Nexus stutters and jerks constantly doing this, whereas the same action on an iOS device is perfectly smooth. It's not terrible stuttering, it's like the difference between scrolling in iTunes on OS X and Windows- Windows scrolling seems like it is taken in 'steps', where a song at a time goes past if you scroll (or 2 or more, depending on your scrolling speed), whereas OS X feels perfectly smooth, without the stepping and jerkiness found in Windows. The Nexus feels like Windows scrolling, slow things right down and it seems really jerky and jumpy, but doing quick flicks around seems fine. Now that I've noticed it, I hate it.

I was really looking forward to getting a Galaxy S3, but the jerky scrolling will send me insane if it's on my daily driver. Are all Android devices like this or have I got a bad Nexus unit? How have you found Project Butter- a success, or does it still leave a lot of room for improvement?
 

parapup

macrumors 65816
Oct 31, 2006
1,291
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This is what I tell my OC friends - if you are convinced iOS has no lags or stutters whatsoever, just stick with it. But I also show them my iPod Touch last gen - it's no saint when it comes to responsiveness - launching apps is laggy as hell, even scrolling doesn't always work the way it does on the iPad for most time (it is unresponsive when loading background tabs for example), and even on the iPad my Safari (Airplay) tabs are reloaded many times - this all leads to very suboptimal experience.

But if you are sold on iOS - these are very easy to ignore. Same way for Android - if you are not OC about minor things - you don't even notice it. I use my Nexus 7 way more than my iPad - I know at least it won't kill my apps and tabs as much and for bonus it doesn't hurt my hands as much.

[Gee I hope I didn't reply to a troll post - just went back to my Nexus 7 and it felt as smooth as ever.]
 
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ReanimationN

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 7, 2011
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Australia
[Gee I hope I didn't reply to a troll post - just went back to my Nexus 7 and it felt as smooth as ever.]
Nah, I'm not trolling, look at my post history, I've been far more critical of Apple than I have of Google or Microsoft.
It's annoying me big time because other than this, I've really been enjoying Android.

Try loading up a webpage, then put one finger on your screen, then don't take it off, leave it on there and scroll up as slowly as you possibly can. Is there no juddering or jerkiness during super, super slow scrolling? If there isn't, I must have a bad Nexus 7, I just don't have anything to compare it to other than my 3GS, which doesn't suffer from this at all. My 3GS just fails at everything else, including holding a cell signal and not auto-closing an app I switched away from 10 seconds ago.
 
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zbarvian

macrumors 68010
Jul 23, 2011
2,004
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Touch screen interaction is best on iOS devices. Windows phone is real close, though. Project Butter boosts Android some, but it's still not there yet. It's one of the big reasons I stay on iOS.
 
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The Robot Cow

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2012
300
69
Central California
I did notice when i was messing with an ip5 at an att store that it does scroll in the browser alot smoother than my galaxy nexus running a custom jelly bean rom. Project Butter is ment to make things alot smoother compared to Ice Cream Sandwich, not to match ios.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCVMvvXHqxU

If that did bother you, the thing i noticed on the ip5 is that it kinda stutters going between the home screens. It does go quickly but it had this tiny bit of stutter in the animation which gave it that look.
 
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onthecouchagain

macrumors 604
Mar 29, 2011
7,382
1
You know what lags? When you open folders in iOS. There's the slightest hangup. There are other examples too, but that's the most frequent.

No OS is completely lag-free.

Definitely not JB, project butter or not.
 
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paulsalter

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Aug 10, 2008
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UK
If I do very very slow scrolling on my Nexus 7 it judders

I would normally never scroll at that speed so not noticed it
 
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parapup

macrumors 65816
Oct 31, 2006
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Try loading up a webpage, then put one finger on your screen, then don't take it off, leave it on there and scroll up as slowly as you possibly can. Is there no juddering or jerkiness during super, super slow scrolling?
Not sure why this particular scrolling method matters to you - I always tend to scroll at least few lines in a single flick. But I tried to replicate your method and I didn't see any stutter or lag - it responds in real time. But what I did see was a bit of flicker. Now N7s are known to have varying degrees of screen flicker issue due to aggressive auto brightness control. But then I tried the same thing on iPad and I saw similar scrolling performance but much less noticeable flicker.

Frankly the flicker sometimes bugged me on N7 but scrolling I could not meaningfully differentiate from that on the iPad.
 
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ReanimationN

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 7, 2011
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Australia
Touch screen interaction is best on iOS devices. Windows phone is real close, though. Project Butter boosts Android some, but it's still not there yet. It's one of the big reasons I stay on iOS.
Yeah, that seems to be it in a nutshell- Android's now so close, but just not quite there yet.
I did notice when i was messing with an ip5 at an att store that it does scroll in the browser alot smoother than my galaxy nexus running a custom jelly bean rom. Project Butter is ment to make things alot smoother compared to Ice Cream Sandwich, not to match ios.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCVMvvXHqxU

If that did bother you, the thing i noticed on the ip5 is that it kinda stutters going between the home screens. It does go quickly but it had this tiny bit of stutter in the animation which gave it that look.
Yeah, that's where I'm noticing the biggest difference- in the browser, and that tends to be what I use most on my phone/tablet, so it's important to me.

And I definitely didn't come away very impressed from a hands-on with the iP5- the screen size feels quite awkward and I really couldn't notice any speed improvements over the 4S.
You know what lags? When you open folders in iOS. There's the slightest hangup. There are other examples too, but that's the most frequent.

No OS is completely lag-free.

Definitely not JB, project butter or not.
That's right, I'm definitely used to iOS lagging, I'm on a 3GS after all. ;) Mine takes a good 10-12 seconds to open Messages most of the time and double that to open Mail.
If I do very very slow scrolling on my Nexus 7 it judders

I would normally never scroll at that speed so not noticed it
Not sure why this particular scrolling method matters to you - I always tend to scroll at least few lines in a single flick. But I tried to replicate your method and I didn't see any stutter or lag - it responds in real time. But what I did see was a bit of flicker. Now N7s are known to have varying degrees of screen flicker issue due to aggressive auto brightness control. But then I tried the same thing on iPad and I saw similar scrolling performance but much less noticeable flicker.

Frankly the flicker sometimes bugged me on N7 but scrolling I could not meaningfully differentiate from that on the iPad.
Ahh, yes, that seems to be part of the issue. Scrolling slowly, the screen seems to flicker quite a bit. Combined with the choppiness, that's what's irritating me.

My touch response doesn't quite respond in real time though when scrolling slowly, maybe I should chance an exchange and see if I get an improvement. Judging from other people's posts though, it may just be Jelly Bean.

Thanks for the responses everyone, without another Android device on hand to compare mine to, it's hard to know whether mine's acting normally or not.
 
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Dolorian

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2007
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I have an S3 with Ice Cream Sandwich (using stock TouchWiz) and I don't get any lag.
 
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cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
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The way the operating systems work is the issue. Project butter for the most part tries to use more raw power to force everything to be smooth, it helps but isn't perfect obviously.

iOS does the opposite. It prioritized user input over task running. This is why if you are scrolling in safari the web page will stop loading until you are done. On a fast Internet connection it's hard to notice but its there.

It's all a matter of preference. Personally I like the way the Apple does it on a phone, but on a tablet I prefer Android. I like to have things running and loading in the background as its more of a computer environment to me however user input isn't as fluid as it is on my phone.
 
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matttye

macrumors 601
Mar 25, 2009
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30
Lincoln, England
Android is a lot more responsive now, it's definitely acceptable and I have no complaints. It's not as responsive as iOS still. Not sure there's anything Google can do other than to ditch Java.
 
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BoxerGT2.5

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Jun 4, 2008
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Touch screen interaction is best on iOS devices. Windows phone is real close, though. Project Butter boosts Android some, but it's still not there yet. It's one of the big reasons I stay on iOS.

Yet many have noted the iphone 5 not registering touches?
 
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1member1

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Sep 8, 2012
383
0
I don't believe project butter. I saw many android devices with 4.1 lagging and crashing all day long.

if you see iOS devices with lag so they probably on the last versions after 2-3 years.
 
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cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
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1,871
I don't believe project butter. I saw many android devices with 4.1 lagging and crashing all day long.

if you see iOS devices with lag so they probably on the last versions after 2-3 years.
Exactly how many devices have you seen with JB? Even my Xoom is reasonable (good not great) on JB and it pales in comparison to the hardware these new super phones have.
 
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1member1

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Sep 8, 2012
383
0
Exactly how many devices have you seen with JB? Even my Xoom is reasonable (good not great) on JB and it pales in comparison to the hardware these new super phones have.
about 10-15. I think it's enough.
 
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Dr McKay

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2010
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Kirkland
iOS isnt immune from scroll judder. When slowly scrolling in the app store on my iPhone 5, it's like scrolling in Android 2.2
 
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cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
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about 10-15. I think it's enough.
But which devices? There are only a handful of Android devices officially on JB (not 10-15) unless you actually mean like 10-15 of the same make model device. Lol
 
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b166er

macrumors 68020
Apr 17, 2010
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Philly
in my experience iOS has always been and still is the best when it comes to lag. As long as you are not a few generations behind on hardware and trying to run the latest iOS. So far nothing comes close in my eyes. However iOS's lack of.... well you know the usual list of complaints.... it makes using Android a little less painful. I have a Nexus 7 and it's damn smooth. I know WP7 is even smoother, I am hoping WP8 matches iOS in terms of smoothness.
 
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Dunbar

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2010
556
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Los Angeles, CA
The only lag I get on my S3 is the update flicker you get sometimes when hitting the home button. The same thing happens randomly with widgets updating so I stopped using them. It's by far my biggest issue with the phone. Really hope the official JB update fixes it or I may flash a custom ROM
 
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onthecouchagain

macrumors 604
Mar 29, 2011
7,382
1
Yet many have noted the iphone 5 not registering touches?
Actually, i think it's OS related. I notice more and more frequently that my touches don't always register the first time. And I know it's not because I'm "pressing fast" because I see the slight gray-ness when you touch an icon; it just doesn't register to actually launch the app. It's bizarre. I've noticed it happening more and more both when I was on iOS 5 and still now with iOS 6. This is my third gen iPad, but I def. noticed it happening too on my 4S when it was on iOS 5.
 
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