Why do older Android devices not run as good as they did previously?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by kat.hayes, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. kat.hayes macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    #1
    I keep reading on different discussion forums (Android included) about people with Android phones that are a year or a couple of years old that barely run anymore (lag). If it ran a couple years ago, why would it no longer run now as good? Is it because updated versions of Android OS cause problems with older devices OR is it something else with Android OS over time?

    Thanks.
     
  2. MadeTheSwitch macrumors 6502a

    MadeTheSwitch

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    #2
    This isn't particular to Android. I think most devices have this problem. My iPad isn't as good now as it was when nothing was on it, and the same can be said for every computer I have ever owned. The simple fact is, that as a device fills up, memory space can become an issue or software or app updates can break as much as they fix. Just the nature of things... unfortunately.
     
  3. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    Oct 27, 2009
    #3
    Just like on a desktop, apps eventually require more CPU and memory.

    Even if you keep an old device stock without adding or updating apps, you still have to deal with javascript, flash, and etc: while using the browser which can end up being extremely slow or crash on an older device. Unless you stay only on mobile version sites. Also certain apps don't even work on older versions forcing you to upgrade.
     
  4. cynics macrumors G3

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #4
    I have never used an OS that doesn't bog down after extended usage. In the beginning of October I restored my iPhone 4S and it made a WORLD of difference. I'm considering doing it again.
     
  5. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    May 21, 2012
    #5
    I restore my mobile devices every couple of months, and do a full PC format twice a year.

    It keeps things zippy.
     
  6. MadeTheSwitch macrumors 6502a

    MadeTheSwitch

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    Apr 20, 2009
    #6
    Yeah, but it's ridiculous that we have to resort to such measures. Things shouldn't be that way. They should "just work". I get really frustrated with the state of things. It seems like Apple, Google, MS, just accept it as a way of life when they should be viewing that practice and need as unacceptable. Why are we still having to do things like we did in 1979?
     
  7. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    #7
    Humans, the pinnacle of life on this planet break down with use and age. It's expected that our machines would be equally flawed, but at least they have a restore button :)
     
  8. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    Oct 27, 2009
    #8
    Funny how people expect things to be flawless forever just cause they paid for it.
     
  9. Beeplance macrumors 65816

    Beeplance

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    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Singapore
    #9
    Because things get outdated as time passes and the old processors may not be able to handle the much higher requirements of the newer Android OS?
     
  10. mattopotamus macrumors G4

    mattopotamus

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #10
    Definitely not the issue b.c most people are not upgrading the software on android phones.
     
  11. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

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    Kirkland
    #11
    I still see my old iPhone 3G from time to time, I passed it on to a relative. It's painfully slow.
     
  12. ReanimationN macrumors 6502a

    ReanimationN

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    Sep 7, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #12
    I think, at least when it comes to PCs, SSDs have really helped to reduce the effect of cruft and slow-down over time. The effect of filling up a HDD usually results in the computer starting to slow down, thanks to data becoming scattered over the HDD, and the platters constantly needing to move from sector to sector, and from the outside to the inside and back again to retrieve data. The more data you have on there, the more travelling the platters and the heads have to do to retrieve it (modern operating systems do a pretty good job of optimising where this data is placed though, so it's generally pretty efficient). SSDs remove that element of retrieving data, data can be pulled from anywhere on an SSD without any worries.

    I'm not sure why older Android devices slow down. My old 3GS definitely got slower as time went on, it was bogged down with a lot of apps, jailbreak tweaks and music though- the storage on it was almost always full. My iPhone 5, which I started as a new phone to avoid the cruft of my 3GS, is far, far faster- we'll see if it gets bogged down later in its life. Also, there's been a lot of issues with the Nexus 7 when its storage gets full, a lot of people have complained about the device becoming ridiculously slow when under 3GB of storage are free. I've kept mine around the 5GB mark, to avoid more slowdown on it.
     
  13. sviato macrumors 68020

    sviato

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    Oct 27, 2010
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    HR 9038 A
    #13
    Maybe they don't seem to run as well as they did after a person using them has been exposed to more recent devices. I'm sure they do slow down a bit with use, but there may also be a psychological factor.

    Happened to a friend of mine recently. He was using a 3GS which was fine for him then played with my iPhone 4S and is convinced that his 3GS used to be faster when he first got it.
     
  14. nick_elt macrumors 68000

    nick_elt

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    Oct 28, 2011
    #14
    Ios is def not immune.

    ----------

    No. The 2g, 3g, 3gs and the 4 def slowed down after time. Im certain your 4gs will too. What I don't understand is when you do full restore and they are still slower. Do processors and ram get worn?
     
  15. mattopotamus macrumors G4

    mattopotamus

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #15
    I hate when people call it the 4gs lol
     
  16. noteple macrumors 65816

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    Aug 30, 2011
    #16
    I keep old phones around for App testing. Handing a 3G to somebody who has never used any Apple iOS device other
    than an iPhone 5 I get, "What's wrong with it"?
     
  17. MadeTheSwitch macrumors 6502a

    MadeTheSwitch

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    Apr 20, 2009
    #17
    I don't expect things to be flawless forever, but I also don't expect the OS to get bogged down or to have software overwrite conflicts because it is not sandboxed enough or updates are not QCd enough.

    These devices are not humans. They should roughly work as fast in year four or five as the day that you got it. Do I expect them to work as new in year 50 or 100? No. But I don't think 5 years of non-degraded performance is too unreasonable of an expectation.
     
  18. cynics macrumors G3

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #18
    I agree with both of you. There is some psychological effect if you try something different. For example when I used to mess with cars if you replace the exhaust and the new exhaust is louder it can make the car feel slower because you previously associated a certain sound level with acceleration. When I mess with my buddies 3GS it feels very slow, but he doesn't think so.

    At the same time I agree with you my 4S got slower and doing a restore helped a lot. The purpose of the restore was to try to fix a battery problem but as a side effect I noticed things obviously loading faster. Like when you check usage for battery stats I could scroll down and check before the apps above it loaded. After the restore they loaded almost immediately and I wouldn't have time to scroll down and check the battery.

    With ANY OS I've grown accustom to it slowing down with usage. Things just built up. Another example is my iCloud back up, if I use the phone and delete it, then turn it back on it will re back up but be obviously smaller.
     
  19. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    Oct 27, 2009
    #19
    5 years of non-degraded performance is unreasonable in today's world. Maybe in the 90's that was expected, but technology moves too fast now. You can't expect developers and site creators to update specifically to ensure high performance on older machines or devices and keep with the demand of those who have the newer or the latest.

    It's not hard to make a old device or machine run smoothly. Just don't expect to run as smooth with the lastest OS or app updates.

    My iP4 still runs smooth on iOS6. And my iPad2 still runs smooth on iOS5. Although I would never expect it to run as fast as the latest.
     
  20. MadeTheSwitch macrumors 6502a

    MadeTheSwitch

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    Apr 20, 2009
    #20
    And I fundamentally disagree with that very anti-attention to detail and anti-customer mindset. It's basically the tech world giving everyone the finger and saying oh well...deal with it. And I find that completely unacceptable.

    There's absolutely no reason this stuff can't be made better...none at all. Instead there is a rush it out the door and we'll fix it later mindset. Often those things NEVER get fixed. Which is a very poor way to handle things. Whether it is baking a cake or building a phone, the old saying it true...haste makes waste.
     
  21. Faux Carnival macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 1, 2010
    #21
    My iPhone 2G is just as good as it was on the first day! It just works!!! I love Apple.

    Just kidding.
     
  22. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    Oct 27, 2009
    #22
    You'll be surprised how much the "tech world" already caters to older stuff. Most just don't realize it.

    BTW..... even a cake has an expiration date.
     
  23. Jibbajabba macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #23
    Indeed .. I found my first gen iPod Touch - haven't used it in at least two years and it is unuseable ... It is not even because I am used to faster devices now - it really is bad. Opening the IPOD application takes about two minutes (not even kidding) and starting a track at least as long. Even restoring and starting from scratch helps. Restoring the ipod took about 6hrs.

    Needless to say - its a case for the bin.

    ----------

    I bet Safari is just "snappy" :p
     
  24. ixodes macrumors 601

    ixodes

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Location:
    Pacific Coast, USA
    #24
    Sage Advice.

    I've been doing the same for years.

    If one is well organized with the proper utilities & current backups, this practice is both easy & rewarding.
     
  25. dojoman macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    #25
    This is main reason why it feels slow. It doesn't hurt to restore the device to see if it comes back faster but mainly most of us are just spoiled with latest tech.
     

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