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Got a laggy old Nexus 7? Here’s why Android 4.3 will restore its performance.

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Don’t upgrade from an old Nexus 7(s goog) to a new one just yet; at least not if your reason for upgrading is because your current tablet has been getting slower over time. Try the Android 4.3 software update first, which is now in the process of rolling out to Nexus devices. It turns out there’s a simple reason why the performance of some of the 2012 Nexus 7 tablets degraded and it can be fixed through software.

Brian Klug of AnandTech confirmed the fix, which is the inclusion and regular scheduling of a specific software command in Android 4.3. The command helps manage and optimize the tablet’s flash memory.

“In our Nexus 7 (2013) review, I talked about how I had confirmed that Android 4.3 onboard the device had enabled support for fstrim, an application which TRIMs blocks not in used by the filesystem. TRIM is essentially the paging channel through which the OS tells an SSD or eMMC controller that a block is no longer in use, and thus ready for garbage collection. This is critical for maintaining performance on the controllers in use across smartphones and tablets and preventing aging-related I/O performance slowdown.”

By invoking the TRIM command on a regular basis, the flash memory inside the Nexus 7 is optimized for input and output. Think of it like the old Disk Defragmenter on Microsoft Windows PCs which cleaned up the file system and put contiguous file bits in order on the hard drive to speed up I/O performance. TRIM isn’t quite the same but the concept is similar.

Image 1 for post Defrag your LifeDrive with Windows XP( 2006-04-18 17:30:11)

Klug says the TRIM command is automatically invoked every 24 hours or so on the Nexus 7 with Android 4.3. It happens when the device is active but not used for an hour during one day’s time and has either 80 percent battery life or is being charged and has at least 30 percent battery life. The maintenance is automatic then, so there’s no user action required.

While this won’t make an old Nexus 7 faster than a new model — this year’s Nexus 7 has double the memory and a faster chip — it should help restore performance in cases where the tablet was slowing down over time. I’ve already read a number of reports online where owners of the 2012 edition are enjoying a faster experience so if you have the old tablet, I’d recommend upgrading to Android 4.3.

14 Responses to “Got a laggy old Nexus 7? Here’s why Android 4.3 will restore its performance.”

  1. richard fischer

    occassionally i get a graphic glitz with bars on the screen flashing on and off quickly. If that do to the update,cause I did not have it before.

  2. Mine was slow and lagging after the update, was even having some touchscreen issues. Ended up doing a factory reset then re-installing apps. It got rid of ,most of the problems however it does lag and stutter every once in a while. I never had this problem in 4.2. Its almost as of Google is trying to make me upgrade to a newer version . ;-)

  3. Maschelle Mashburn

    Immediately after the upgrade to Android Jellybean 4.3 finished installing the game I had been playing (just a well-known, uncomplicated, simple match-3 game) stopped doing the “lag, static, spit, sputter freeze for 3 seconds drive me crazy” routine that appeared within the last couple of months disappeared! My Nexus 7 (2012 Christmas present) roared to life! It started moving through the game in what seemed like lightening speed compared to what I had been dealing with. It was such a noticeable difference, I knew it had to be something in that upgrade. Now I now know for sure, and I am so glad! I use my Nexus 7 in replacement of a laptop that I can no longer use due to physical restrictions created by a debilitating chronic illness I have had since ’06. I rely on my Nexus 7 for so many things! I knew it would be the right device for me, so I begged and pleaded and ‘sold’ my family on why they should buy me one. I have been afraid to tell them it had started to act up so soon after its purchase. I am so relieved I don’t have to go without, as I cannot see getting a new
    Nexus 7 2 as a gift this soon. Whew! Thank you Google!

  4. antonio

    I’ve had my nexus 7 since day one,I had problem after problem with it ,1st problem Google gave me a store demo model wtf,2nd it phantom touched(means it was moving the screen and opening apps on its own) ,now here’s my third tablet with no problems yet I seriously hope 4.3 doesn’t do anything it did to me the first 2 times

  5. Reblogged this on JDnGerz.. and commented:
    Ya, my nex still runs great even through all the installing and uninstalling of apps and data overtime. Have noticed a slight (barely) lag in regards to some things, and some residual files/folders…but after the update it seemed to take care of all that and return to its zippy, “when I first got it” feel. Yey lil nex! Thanks for the good read as well, Mr. Tofel.

  6. Isketerol

    I have noticed that the performance is better under 4.3 on the original N7 I also noticed that when I removed battery monitoring apps, things improved greatly

  7. Come on goog… I still use my original 16gb gnex7. No major slow downs so far.. But than again I mainly use it to do all my reading/researching. Connect to the car to control my music, better than a $300-600 TV/dvd combo in the car.. Thank you!!