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    Default Device feels sluggish?

    I just recently moved from an iphone 4s to the nexus, and the phone feels somewhat choppy. I can typically feel it in the games (same ones I played on the iphone), pinch to zooms, browsers, music, and transitions, its just doesn't feel as crisp as my previous phone. Maybe because I'm used to the crisp iphone?

    This is the only problem I really have with the phone, everything else has been amazing. Is there a way to get this phone on par with my previous phone, possibly flashing with a custom rom?
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    Welcome to Android, its an issue they STILL cant figure out.
  3. #3  

    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    Can't say I've seen that all with the Nexus. I've had 3 Iphones and I don't find them any smoother than the Nexus. I've also had 3 other Androids, and on those I'd agree with you. But the combination of ICS and the Nexus is buttery smooth and every bit as crisp as any IPhone I've ever played with.
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    Look up "spare parts" in the market. You can use that to speed up screen transitions and window animations. It may help with your problem. :thumbup:
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    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    It comes from the way that android is designed. Without going into a ton of detail, that slight choppiness/sluggishness/whatever you always see just a tad of in android, compared to iOS or even windows phone, is because of the fact that android handles multi-tasking and background tasks better than those other OS's do.

    When you touch the screen on the iPhone, for example, all (or most) resources are diverted to responding to that (there's a word for this that is escaping me at the moment) touch. Some background processes pause entirely while others just slow down a lot.. all so that you get that "instant" sensation. I believe Windows Phone handles it similarly.

    In Android, that doesn't happen. That's why your web pages load while you scrolling around in other stuff and flipping through other applications even. That's why your widgets keep updating at the same inherent rate while your doing other stuff too. Android has true multitasking which it handles better than the other mobile OS's, but the sacrifice you pay for it is a touch of lag, which can be more noticeable the more processes you have going on in your phone. Same as how your computer multitasks very well, but you know if you have a ton of crap open on it you might see some stutter here or there.

    Hope this explanation helps... I'm no expert, and I'm sure someone could jump in and explain the whole thing better than me, and probably correct something I said that's wrongish, but I'm just trying to give you the gist of it
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    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2defmouze View Post
    It comes from the way that android is designed. Without going into a ton of detail, that slight choppiness/sluggishness/whatever you always see just a tad of in android, compared to iOS or even windows phone, is because of the fact that android handles multi-tasking and background tasks better than those other OS's do.

    When you touch the screen on the iPhone, for example, all (or most) resources are diverted to responding to that (there's a word for this that is escaping me at the moment) touch. Some background processes pause entirely while others just slow down a lot.. all so that you get that "instant" sensation. I believe Windows Phone handles it similarly.

    In Android, that doesn't happen. That's why your web pages load while you scrolling around in other stuff and flipping through other applications even. That's why your widgets keep updating at the same inherent rate while your doing other stuff too. Android has true multitasking which it handles better than the other mobile OS's, but the sacrifice you pay for it is a touch of lag, which can be more noticeable the more processes you have going on in your phone. Same as how your computer multitasks very well, but you know if you have a ton of crap open on it you might see some stutter here or there.

    Hope this explanation helps... I'm no expert, and I'm sure someone could jump in and explain the whole thing better than me, and probably correct something I said that's wrongish, but I'm just trying to give you the gist of it
    capacitive?
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    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    Quote Originally Posted by travva View Post
    capacitive?
    No. I meant word for the "process" or whatever its considered where the resources are diverted.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    If you are having problems with transitions and animations try (Settings>Developer Options>Force GPU Rendering) and report back if you still have problems. The phone is running like butter for me. Much faster than the competition.
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    Don't see anymore slug than any other phone. I got my wife a iPhone cause she knew if she had a android I'd break it. Hers reboots and locks up just as much as a android phone. Does it have hickups yes but I wouldn't call android sluggish. Now if we wanted to throw bb into the mix my curve was sluggish.

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  10. #10  

    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    I noticed that the performance of my Galaxy Nexus was surprisingly reduced when I used the "Microbes" live wallpaper. Stay clear of that, for one.
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    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    My wife transitioned from the DX to the iPhone for a spell. Actually, I really loved the look and feel of the phone. But the UI in comparison to Android for me was not as smooth. Now that's just my opinion.

    But after a couple months my wife is saying she misses many aspects of Android. I think the iPhone is a quality device. It definitely has the look but its just too small for my gorilla hands. She is going GNEX in May.

    I will say, the phone has just as many problems as Android. It locks up, gets choppy, and has less battery life than the DX did.
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    Lightbulb Re: Device feels sluggish?

    Quote Originally Posted by pixelate View Post
    I just recently moved from an iphone 4s to the nexus, and the phone feels somewhat choppy. I can typically feel it in the games (same ones I played on the iphone), pinch to zooms, browsers, music, and transitions, its just doesn't feel as crisp as my previous phone. Maybe because I'm used to the crisp iphone?

    This is the only problem I really have with the phone, everything else has been amazing. Is there a way to get this phone on par with my previous phone, possibly flashing with a custom rom?
    Try hitting the (button if we can still call it that) to the right of the home screen the one that looks like 2 squares overlapping each other.....And then see how many apps you have running in the background, I find that when my gal nex gets sluggish/has a tad bit of lag. If I open that up and then start closing the background apps (by sliding them to the left) my phone gets more responsive and is quicker to the touch. I also notice a little lag when running certain live wallpapers as well. (ex. blue skies live wallpaper seems to slow me down a bit not a lot but it's enough to be noticeable.

    Hope this helps....
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    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2defmouze View Post
    It comes from the way that android is designed. Without going into a ton of detail, that slight choppiness/sluggishness/whatever you always see just a tad of in android, compared to iOS or even windows phone, is because of the fact that android handles multi-tasking and background tasks better than those other OS's do.

    When you touch the screen on the iPhone, for example, all (or most) resources are diverted to responding to that (there's a word for this that is escaping me at the moment) touch. Some background processes pause entirely while others just slow down a lot.. all so that you get that "instant" sensation. I believe Windows Phone handles it similarly.

    In Android, that doesn't happen. That's why your web pages load while you scrolling around in other stuff and flipping through other applications even. That's why your widgets keep updating at the same inherent rate while your doing other stuff too. Android has true multitasking which it handles better than the other mobile OS's, but the sacrifice you pay for it is a touch of lag, which can be more noticeable the more processes you have going on in your phone. Same as how your computer multitasks very well, but you know if you have a ton of crap open on it you might see some stutter here or there.

    Hope this explanation helps... I'm no expert, and I'm sure someone could jump in and explain the whole thing better than me, and probably correct something I said that's wrongish, but I'm just trying to give you the gist of it
    This for the most part. Going to add a few more things:

    1) Every process on your device is run in its own thread. For instance, an Android Twitter app will typically have a minimum of two processes, or threads: one for the app itself (GUI and logic) and another for its background service (auto-updates/pull requests, notifications, push event listeners, etc). This is no different than with any other computer software and OS out there; everything is handled with threads.

    The difference between WP7/iOS and Android is that the latter does not do a good job separating UI threads from logic threads whereas the former do. What tends to happen is that Android UIs "block" or are basically unable to be interacted with until the application's processing is over. A notable offender is TitaniumBackup (especially on older devices); once you start the backup procedure, it can be difficult to stop since the hardware is so focused on the processing and the OS hasn't given enough resources to the UI to let you instantly stop the backup at your whim.

    Good news is that with updates TB has reduced its blocking ability and is more responsive. Furthermore, more powerful devices are able to handle both responsive UI and processor intensive apps/tasks/processes simultaneously. However, as hardware becomes more efficient, software becomes more complex, so this lagginess will never go away (at least not permanently) just by buying bigger and better hardware, just as we have seen in the PC market.

    2) The UI threads in WP7/iOS were designed from the start to always have higher priority than other processes within the OS, allowing user interaction to block processor intensive tasks (as opposed to the opposite as seen within Android). UI thread priority is set to "Realtime" so that even "High" priority processes cannot overrule user interaction. This is a very good design philosophy and I do have to commend Apple for following this route as it lends the iPhone to be more of a humanized tool than yet another piece of frustrating crap technology that the populace despises.

    So long as Android's UI threads aren't given higher priority than other tasks/processes within the OS, the OS will be laggy no matter what hardware you invent and software optimizations you introduce.

    3) The Galaxy Nexus and ICS. ICS is a very resource hungry OS compared to GB and below and it shows throughout the OS. It is a very slick OS just because the hardware can support it today, but when Jelly Bean comes out next year our Galaxy Nexii will be begging to be put out of their mercy.

    There are things you can do to optimize the experience, especially GPU overclocks and turning down/off animations, but even then only a small number of people will actually enjoy those tweaks in the long run. PROTIP: Open the Task Switcher and swipe left/right to remove any apps you don't plan to open up anytime soon. The OS does a poor job keeping the app's screenshots in memory, hence the lag when opening up the task switcher for the first time every 30 minutes.


    The never-ending debate of Form vs Function is one of much importance when it comes to consumer hardware and software. On one hand, Android is easily the most malleable yet powerful mobile OS in the history of the world and devices that utilize the software can truly be called "Superphones." On the other hand, iOS and WP7 focus more on the user experience than on raw power, prioritizing UI interactions within the current process/app over multitasking of background apps and services. This means less frustrated pecking and cursing since your device will almost never block you from commanding it.

    Android's roots lay in the realm of productivity over consumption (as did BlackBerry's), which is contradictory to the fact that the limitations of smart phones and tablets lend these devices to being useful almost exclusively for content consumption. The lagginess we all experience even on our Nexii with ICS is because Android knows it is powerful and tries to simultaneously do as much as it can to make sure that power isn't going to waste, even if it means sacrificing user interactivity.

    In essence, Android is actually a resource-intensive modern-day desktop OS squeezed onto computer hardware specs from eight years ago (except in handheld format). Once the latest desktops are entirely replaced by smartphone hardware (ETA 2020, see Mozilla's Seabird concept video) Android will be damned amazing. All we need to do is keep our sanity in check and deal with a handful of annoyances during this transformation.
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    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    Wow... see I knew someone smarter could come along and explain it better

    thanks!
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    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    To add on 2defmouze and Mapex's explanation, there is a very interesting article to read

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    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    Quote Originally Posted by gnipeh View Post
    To add on 2defmouze and Mapex's explanation, there is a very interesting article to read

    Oh hi yeah that's the article I was actually thinking of when I was trying to explain earlier, good find
  17. #17  

    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    Try going into settings-developer options and turning on the Force GPU Rendering option. I think that offloads some work the CPU does for apps to GPU. There are much more experienced people than me that can explain what that does or correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to help.
  18. #18  

    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    you also might consider in the dev options in settings "force gpu rendering" this also might help but 2defmouze did a nice summary though live wallpapers will make it slower because they do take a beating on the gpu while doing other tasks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnipeh View Post
    To add on 2defmouze and Mapex's explanation, there is a very interesting article to read

    That was a very interesting read. But android devices are getting very smooth if not as smooth as iOS or wp7. When I use either one of those OSs, they don't feel any smoother than my galaxy nexus with ICS. So I think android has come a long way, since it's early versions. There is hardly any lag now with 4.0, and I can imagine that with jellybean it will just get smoother.

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  20. #20  

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    I turned off Window Animation Scale and Transition Animation Scale and turned on force GPU Rendering like noted earlier. It helped mine feel a lot snappier.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk
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    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    I'm pretty new to android but I do a lot of reading

    One of the comments on an app I recently got mentioned that he uses it immediately prior to playing his favorite games to free up ram. The app is Fast Reboot and it got tons of favorable comments with some people stating that it works better than several of the task killers combined.

    Its not a total reboot to factory presets but limits itself to running processes. Hope that helps. I'm not a heavy duty game player (sudoku is more my speed) so I can't speak from experience on that issue. But I did remember that one comment from someone else
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  22. #22  

    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    The explanations given here about thread prioritization are pretty accurate. As mentioned, user interactions do not have real-time interrupt priority, so when a lot of processing threads are running in the background, the UI tends to feel sluggish for awhile. I've found that even on my single-core Droid Charge, the UI will in fact be quite snappy if you either kill most of the background processes, or if you simply keep using your UI for more than a few seconds. If you keep scrolling through your launcher, opening the app drawer, etc, it seems to devote more resources to the UI and it gets quite smooth. But rarely is there any point to using the core UI for more than a few seconds at a time, and of course then an app seems to take a bit longer to open.

    The real issue, imho, is background processes. We need a number of background processes to be running, and its great to be able to have things auto-sync, widgets stay updated, etc. However, each of this relies on a background process, and too many of these will definitely slow the phone down. Many apps spawn processes that seem unnecessary when you're not using it, which explains why having a lot of apps seems to make your phone slower. While some apps will let you set them to manually refresh, many others do not have this option, and even the ones that do still tend to spawn processes, they just don't use data and sync. Android needs to be better at prioritizing background processes of user downloaded apps, or Google could provide an easy way to see any background processes spawned by apps when you're not using them, and an option to block this behavior in the future, either through each app itself, or natively built into the OS. For instance, Facebook and Amazon App Store are apps I use frequently, but I don't care to know how many unread messages I have or new apps I can download until I actually want to open the application and see what they are. Yet I have not found a way to prevent these background processes from running (other than Force Stop all the applications threads, but then it starts all over again when I re-open the app). It would be great to be able to tell most of your apps that you don't want them spawning ANY background process until you open them, and sync its data manually. I would imagine that the other OS's have similar issues as well, but again you don't notice them because of the real-time interrupt priority given to UI interactions, and the fact that you're not likely to notice if background processing threads are a bit sluggish as long as the UI works.

    Anyway, that post on Google+ is a good one, I remember it from a few weeks back, but I also remember that Dianne Hackborn's reply is a more accurate explanation. Its easily found in the post, but for those that haven't read it, I suggest you read instead.
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    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2defmouze View Post
    It comes from the way that android is designed. Without going into a ton of detail, that slight choppiness/sluggishness/whatever you always see just a tad of in android, compared to iOS or even windows phone, is because of the fact that android handles multi-tasking and background tasks better than those other OS's do.

    When you touch the screen on the iPhone, for example, all (or most) resources are diverted to responding to that (there's a word for this that is escaping me at the moment) touch. Some background processes pause entirely while others just slow down a lot.. all so that you get that "instant" sensation. I believe Windows Phone handles it similarly.

    In Android, that doesn't happen. That's why your web pages load while you scrolling around in other stuff and flipping through other applications even. That's why your widgets keep updating at the same inherent rate while your doing other stuff too. Android has true multitasking which it handles better than the other mobile OS's, but the sacrifice you pay for it is a touch of lag, which can be more noticeable the more processes you have going on in your phone. Same as how your computer multitasks very well, but you know if you have a ton of crap open on it you might see some stutter here or there.

    Hope this explanation helps... I'm no expert, and I'm sure someone could jump in and explain the whole thing better than me, and probably correct something I said that's wrongish, but I'm just trying to give you the gist of it
    You're looking for the term preemptive multitasking!
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    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    Quote Originally Posted by pixelate View Post
    I just recently moved from an iphone 4s to the nexus, and the phone feels somewhat choppy. I can typically feel it in the games (same ones I played on the iphone), pinch to zooms, browsers, music, and transitions, its just doesn't feel as crisp as my previous phone. Maybe because I'm used to the crisp iphone?

    This is the only problem I really have with the phone, everything else has been amazing. Is there a way to get this phone on par with my previous phone, possibly flashing with a custom rom?
    I'd be willing to bet it's just "perception", not real. The iPhone likes to use what is called "elasticized" screen displays where, when the icons or app first appear, they sort of bounce into place. This gives the appearance of quickness which isn't actually there. Some apps on Android do this and some allow this type of transition within the app to be configurable off/on. Just a perception, IMHO.

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  25. #25  

    Default Re: Device feels sluggish?

    I have both an iPhone 4S and a Galaxy Nexus. I'm enjoying the customization ability of the Nexus (not my first Android, by the way), but if anyone has spent time with an iPhone 4 or 4S, the smoothness in some of the UI is superior to ICS. Not everything mind you, but some things.

    For example, the scrolling in an app such as the ABC News app for Android is horribly stiff and jerky. On the iPhone, it's butter smooth.

    My understanding is that since Apple controls the hardware, they've built GPU acceleration specific to the GPUs they use in to every part of the OS. Android handsets, on the other hand, all have different specs, so building in GPU acceleration isn't as easy or complete with Android. Supposedly ICS will help this along (i.e., the developer setting for force GPU acceleration, though this screws up a couple of my apps like Good), but it's not there yet.

    I'm not at all suggesting iOS is any better than Android - in fact it's clearly in many ways inferior. But, iOS does have superior GPU-accelerated IU rendering for many IU-related effects. I disagree it's perception. I can put the two phones next to each other and demonstrate.

    That being said, the GNex is still my current primary device. Ffix the GNex's rotation delay bug, the horribly laggy landscape keyboard and tweak the background awake times to improve battery life, and I may sell my iPhone outright. Hoping 4.0.3 works some magic!!
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