Do smart phones and tablets slow down over time? It’s a machine right? How can it get old? My phone used to be fast when I bought it, why is it slow now ? Is it only me?
Rest assured: it isn’t all in your head. At least, not completely. It’s quite possible that your device has actually slowed down, and there are several potential causes. In this post, we’ll cover these reasons and what you can do about them.
The following three are the main reasons behind a slow phone:
1. Background process:
More apps = more background processes = busy RAM. If your RAM is too busy for background processes, then it wont be able to carry out foreground processes the way it should. This leads to a slow android phone.
The problem is that some apps run in the background although you aren’t actively using them. For example, email apps are always checking for new incoming emails, messaging apps are always awaiting new messages, note-taking apps are always syncing, etc. Even animated live wallpapers and home screen widgets need resources to do what they do.
Solution: Identify which apps are draining battery as heavy battery use tends to indicate heavy background processing. Switch to a static wallpaper and avoid relying on widgets. Uninstall apps you don’t use. Disable background processing in apps that allow it.
2. Full Internal Storage:
Almost all of our phones have Solid state drives (SSD). SSDs tend to get slower once it is near its full capacity. All the writing operations become slower and hence a slow phone.
Solution: You can free up some space by uninstalling unwanted applications or extend your internal memory using a memory card.
3. Operating System Updates and Heavier Apps
Your Android phone doesn’t have the same software it had a year ago. If you’ve received Android operating system updates, they may not be as nicely optimized for your device and may have slowed it down. Or, your carrier or manufacturer may have added additional bloatware apps in an update, which run in the background and slow things down.
Even if you haven’t seen a single update, the apps running on your device are newer. Whether you’re using newer apps or updated versions of the same apps you were using a year ago, apps seem to become heavier over time. As developers gain access to faster smartphone hardware, games and other apps may be optimized for this faster hardware and perform worse on older devices. This seems to happen on every platform. As the years go by, websites become heavier, desktop applications want more RAM, and PC games become more demanding.
Solution: There’s not much you can do here. If your operating system seems slow, you may want to install a custom ROM like CyanogenMod that doesn’t have the bloatware and slow manufacturer skins many devices include. If your apps seem slow, try hunting for more lightweight apps.
4. Physical life of a smartphone
A smartphone’s life has reduced drastically over the years. While feature phones could last years, smartphones rely heavily on hardware and software support. Manufacturers support their devices for a year or a bit more and then abandon them. Many will agree that a year is too short for a device you paid with your hard-earned money.
While software can be baked on an older hardware, there is certainly the factor of physical wear and tear to be considered. Phones come with delicate internals and their quality changes across phone tiers. An old phone will be relatively slower despite support from developers as it ages through the space of time and technology.
Was this post helpful? Have you experienced a slowdown with your own device? Are there any tips or tricks that have worked for you? Share with us in a comment down below!