Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 18th Jun 2013 17:45 UTC
Google "I can't find one person who has been using the Nexus 7 for an extended period of time, and hasn't seen a massive downgrade in performance. Just what kind of downgrade are we talking here? I cannot pick up my Nexus 7 without experiencing problems like a lag of ten seconds, or more, just to rotate the display; touches refusing to acknowledged; stuttering notification panel actions; and unresponsive apps." Fully and utterly agreed. My Nexus 7 was blazing-fast and awesome for a few months, and at some point, it just started sucking. Just like that. I've tried loads of ROMs, and nothing helps.
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Easy to fix in most cases
by kajaman on Tue 18th Jun 2013 18:10 UTC
kajaman
Member since:
2006-01-06

There's this app called 'Forever Gone' https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kovit.p.forevergon... that seems to be working for most people (including myself).

Not sure what is the problem, however, if it's shitty filesystem or shitty storage used in the device. I think it is not Nexus 7 specific, and I would blame filesystem in that case.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Easy to fix in most cases
by WorknMan on Tue 18th Jun 2013 19:29 UTC in reply to "Easy to fix in most cases"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Not sure what is the problem, however, if it's shitty filesystem or shitty storage used in the device. I think it is not Nexus 7 specific, and I would blame filesystem in that case.


Actually, I think it's a Nexus 7 specific issue and the type of solid state storage that Asus is using. It's a shame too, because the Nexus 7 is still the best 7" Android tablet you can get. Everybody else seems to be in a race to the bottom, trying to outdo it in price.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Easy to fix in most cases
by christian on Wed 19th Jun 2013 09:53 UTC in reply to "Easy to fix in most cases"
christian Member since:
2005-07-06

There's this app called 'Forever Gone' https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kovit.p.forevergon... that seems to be working for most people (including myself).

Not sure what is the problem, however, if it's shitty filesystem or shitty storage used in the device. I think it is not Nexus 7 specific, and I would blame filesystem in that case.


The cheap controllers in cheap flash devices are notorious for being bad with traditional filesystems like ext4. Some are better with FAT, but they generally have to special case FAT to perform adequately, and even then assume you're writing big files (like jpeg, music or movie files.)

This article gives more information on the challenges of making cheap flash work fast:

http://lwn.net/Articles/428584/

Basically, because cheap flash is optimized for large, contiguous writes (writing large media files) general purpose filesystem access suffers unless it is also decomposed into large contiguous writes. This is what log structured filesystems like NIFLS2 and F2FS do, and reap the performance benefits of doing so.

As an example, my Acer Aspire One (the original 8GB SSD one) runs completely from a cheap plugin 32GB USB FLASH module, using NILFS to decompose the random writes into large contiguous writes. While NILFS is no performer compared to other FS on general purpose SSD, it trounces the likes of ext4 on cheap media like this, and keeps the netbook usable.

What I suspect 'Forever Gone' is doing is either:

- Triggering TRIM to the underlying device, if it's supported.
- Writing all zeros to the underlying device, which
the device can optimize by not actually storing, but simply marking the blocks as containing all zero data.

Either way, the underlying device can discard what would otherwise be useless data, and keep lots of clean FLASH blocks free.

Hopefully, if F2FS or NILFS become mainstream, these sorts of problems should be a thing of the past.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Easy to fix in most cases
by pandronic on Thu 20th Jun 2013 05:46 UTC in reply to "Easy to fix in most cases"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

Tried the app on my 2 yo Asus Transformer TF-101. It's like night and day.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by gan17
by gan17 on Tue 18th Jun 2013 18:12 UTC
gan17
Member since:
2008-06-03

I might be that one person that hasn't seen any performance downgrade. I wouldn't call myself a "power user" (my rooting/flashing days are long gone), but I do use it almost every day, more now than before as a matter of fact.

Don't have that many apps or media installed on mine unit (still 8GB+ free), so that might be why I'm not having problems.

Did some checking and found that it's usually one (or more) of these problems listed here gives users this lag;
http://www.howtogeek.com/164106/why-is-my-nexus-7-so-slow-8-ways-to...
From what I can tell, the TRiM problem is the biggest culprit, and the solution to run the ForeverGone App seems to fix it for most people.

Edited 2013-06-18 18:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by gan17
by SeanParsons on Tue 18th Jun 2013 19:08 UTC in reply to "Comment by gan17"
SeanParsons Member since:
2011-01-11

I am a second person then. I use my Nexus 7 all the time and I haven't seen a downgrade in speed. I am posting this from mine while happily listening to an audio book.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by gan17
by No it isnt on Tue 18th Jun 2013 21:22 UTC in reply to "Comment by gan17"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

No problems for me either. I run vanilla Android without root (although I've flashed both ParanoidAndroid and Plasma Active/Mer in the past), and I've got plenty of disk space left.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by gan17
by Moredhas on Tue 18th Jun 2013 22:41 UTC in reply to "Comment by gan17"
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

Mine has never skipped a beat. I recently bought a Nexus 10 more as a size issue, and my Nexus 7 is now serving faithfully for my brother. It may be important that it's been reflashed twice, just because I could. Once with the Ubuntu preview, and again back to stock.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by gan17
by reduz on Wed 19th Jun 2013 01:55 UTC in reply to "Comment by gan17"
reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

same here, no issues with the nexus 7

Reply Score: 2

I just got one...
by Morgan on Tue 18th Jun 2013 18:33 UTC
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

I just got one the other day in a trade with a friend (he needed a laptop RIGHT NOW for a work project, he wasn't using his Nexus anymore, I wasn't using my Sony laptop anymore). I am blown away by both the speed and fluidity of JB on this device, and the utterly boring Android interface (not a complaint!). I know I could try a different ROM or launcher and get a "better" experience but I actually enjoy the simplicity of it.

I may try Ubuntu on it one day -- its high compatibility with that OS is what sparked me to make the trade -- and if this "slowdown" ever starts happening to the device I may just switch to that or even Firefox OS. As long as I can read my ebooks and browse the occasional website I'll be happy, as that is all I use a tablet for.

Reply Score: 3

Nexus 7
by tkeith on Tue 18th Jun 2013 19:05 UTC
tkeith
Member since:
2010-09-01

Yes, it is a file system thing. I think that is the difference between a Tegra 3 and a Tegra 3L that the Nexus 7 uses. If I keep 3GB open space on mine(16GB), it's fine, but less than that it is slow.

Reply Score: 2

No problems
by nadiasvertex on Tue 18th Jun 2013 19:21 UTC
nadiasvertex
Member since:
2006-07-11

I've had my Nexus since they released them, and I haven't seen this at all. I bought the 16gb unit. Mine is still as fast as it ever was.

Reply Score: 2

Never had this problem
by linux-lover on Tue 18th Jun 2013 19:54 UTC
linux-lover
Member since:
2011-04-25

I bought a nexus 7 a month or 2 after launch , 3-4months ago the charger pin was damaged and it would not charge anymore. I called Google support to get it replaced, so maybe since my current device is much newer, that's why I don't notice anything. Even so, the previous device never lagged either.

Reply Score: 2

Haven't had an issue
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 18th Jun 2013 20:15 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

I've had mine for 6 + months. No issues with speed. Stock Rom. Maybe I'm lucky?

Reply Score: 2

Have 2 of them.. No complaints yet..
by etrek on Tue 18th Jun 2013 20:42 UTC
etrek
Member since:
2006-03-29

We have 2 Nexus 7's in our family. One has a custom ROM and the other is stock. No complaints so far. It's been about 8 month for the stock one and 3 Months for the custom one.

Will keep an eye on things now.. thanks for the heads up + thanks for the app recommend - will check it out!

Reply Score: 2

My experience with other Android devices
by vaette on Tue 18th Jun 2013 21:15 UTC
vaette
Member since:
2008-08-09

This has indeed very much been my experience with my Android devices (Hero and Arc). They start out fast and reasonably fluid, and then somehow degrade over time. A reset fixes things, which I think is a large part of why with every custom rom a lot of people go "finally, it is running perfectly now!", only to not post when things degrade again a month later.

I see posts above suggesting that it is a flash storage issue specific to the Nexus 7, but I have to think, from my own personal experience, that this is something a lot of Android devices suffer from. I have no real clear theories why, but unfortunately it is one of those things that are impossible to tell in the store or upon the first-impressions review on crowdsourced websites, so it is a slightly hidden problem with a lot of devices.

I ended up on WP8 myself this time, which is a deeply flawed OS, that does, however, thrill me a bit with fantastic fluidity every time I pick up the phone, even 6 months after I first got it.

Reply Score: 2

No problems for me...
by rklrkl on Tue 18th Jun 2013 21:16 UTC
rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

..but my 16GB Nexus 7 has been flashed at least weekly with CyanogenMod (clearing the caches when I flash) and I've been careful to keep the storage at around 5GB free.

I do suspect the flash storage/TRIM myself as the biggest culprit in all this - as other people have said, go below 3GB of storage free and you'll run into sluggish performance over time.

Reply Score: 2

Re:
by kurkosdr on Tue 18th Jun 2013 22:19 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Google has confirmed that the device needs to have a couple of gigs free in order to function fluidly. There was a columnist in some website (pcmag, pcworld, wired, can't remember) complaining about that. Too lazy to find the link.

Android is a junk OS, sorry fans. It consumes CPU and battery with a huge appetite, and it needs to "have some free space left" otherwise things get slugish (the Unix Haters Handbook wants it's lame filesystem back, seriously it had a complaint about that exact problem)

Also, all those adverts claiming "16GB" or "32GB" of storage without clarifying how much of it is free and how much of it you can fill up without slowing things to a crawl make some telemarketing frauds look like totally honest adverts. 'Till the class action lawsuit happens, things will get worse.

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Reply Score: 1

RE: Re:
by JAlexoid on Wed 19th Jun 2013 09:25 UTC in reply to "Re:"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

It's a hardware issue. ASUS skimped on storage(did not include a proper buffer, like the 240GB SSDs actually have 256GB). The OS is not junk, just because the hardware manufacturer did not include something that the OS expects.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Re:
by kurkosdr on Wed 19th Jun 2013 10:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Re:"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

The OS is not junk, just because the hardware manufacturer did not include something that the OS expects.


Risking an OS war a bit, but shouldn't a mobile OS (like Android) have a filesystem designed specifically for flash storage (with a trim command and all), instead of using a filesystem designed for spin-up magnetic drives (ext4), and ask from the hardware to emulate a spin-up magnetic drive for it?

Generally, Android feels like a resource hog. It has the random slowness issue (everything runs fine, then suddenly everything slows down to a crawl for a couple of seconds, then everything is fine again), it consumers lots of battery, it occupies a ton of space because it needs seperate physical partitions for programs and user files like back in the days of old Unix (this is why the Galaxy S4 has so little user space, the rest of the internal storage is for apps).

Don't get me wrong, I admire Android for being the only true PDA from the big 3 (WP, iOS, Android), I just wish Google did more designing and less hacking.

Edited 2013-06-19 10:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Re:
by Neolander on Wed 19th Jun 2013 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Re:"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Risking an OS war a bit, but shouldn't a mobile OS (like Android) have a filesystem designed specifically for flash storage (with a trim command and all), instead of using a filesystem designed for spin-up magnetic drives (ext4), and ask from the hardware to emulate a spin-up magnetic drive for it?

Really, I don't think it's fair to single out Android on this front. iOS is BSD-based, and WP8 is Windows NT based, so that only leaves Blackberry's QNX-based OS as a relatively successful mobile platform whose internals are potentially optimized for embedded needs.

Generally, Android feels like a resource hog. It has the random slowness issue (everything runs fine, then suddenly everything slows down to a crawl for a couple of seconds, then everything is fine again), it consumers lots of battery, it occupies a ton of space because it needs seperate physical partitions for programs and user files like back in the days of old Unix (this is why the Galaxy S4 has so little user space, the rest of the internal storage is for apps).

Again, once you have played with the old generation of mobile OSs which were truly optimized for slow processors, small amounts of storage, and long battery lives, all newer mobile OSs feel like a waste of resources.

The main issue with Android is that it makes the inadequacy of using desktop kernels in embedded systems more obvious, by letting users and software take advantage of low-level features which are particularly ill-designed for modern needs, such as multitasking.

Also, Android is often scaled down to lower-end hardware than iOS and WP8, which further emphasizes the serious task prioritization and performance issues that its Linux internals exhibit. If iOS provided developers with similar access to its low-level functionality, you could bet that the situation would not be much different from the Android one.

Edited 2013-06-19 19:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Re:
by JAlexoid on Fri 21st Jun 2013 10:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Re:"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

If iOS provided developers with similar access to its low-level functionality, you could bet that the situation would not be much different from the Android one.

Oh please... iOS has these "hiccups" no less than Android.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Re:
by No it isnt on Wed 19th Jun 2013 14:25 UTC in reply to "Re:"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Windows and OS X also tend to get slow when you fill up all the disk space.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Tue 18th Jun 2013 23:36 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

SSDs slow down when they run out of swap space. it's up to the manufacturer to decide how much space to reserve, hiding it from the user.

if they hide as little as possible to just make it work, then if you fill it up, performance will degrade

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Luminair
by kurkosdr on Wed 19th Jun 2013 08:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

SSDs slow down when they run out of swap space


By "swap space" I assume you mean some form of cache the hardware keeps hidden, right?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
by Neolander on Wed 19th Jun 2013 09:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Luminair"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

On flash-based SSDs, you cannot truly overwrite data, only erase it (which is a lengthy process) and rewrite.

Most SSDs deal with this by implementing some form of garbage collection, in which the drive controller silently erases unused block in the background when it is not requested data. However, this only works as long as there are some blank blocks available when a write is to be performed. If data has to be written and no blank memory blocks are left, then the drive has to wipe some memory blocks before it can perform the write, which dramatically slows some things down.

Some drives address this by actually having more memory blocks available than the advertised storage capacity, which is also a good strategy to manage bad storage blocks. For this latter reason, such a strategy was already used in the HDD era.

Of course, as you mention in another comment, this wouldn't be an issue if Unices weren't so reliant on synchronous HDD writes to begin with.

Edited 2013-06-19 09:19 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Luminair
by Soulbender on Wed 19th Jun 2013 10:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

SSDs slow down when they run out of swap space.


Say what? Swap space? Why would an SSD need a swap area? Did you man unused space?
Using the correct term is important.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Sun 23rd Jun 2013 23:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Luminair"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

unused is not the correct term because the space is used for something, isn't it, you clever boy

Reply Score: 2

Re:
by kurkosdr on Wed 19th Jun 2013 16:57 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Windows and OS X also tend to get slow when you fill up all the disk space


Because they run mostly on spinup drives, so as the hard drive fills up, finding unfragmented free space becomes harder. And the writes happen on the inner rings which are slower, and any new updates/installs get written on the inner rings. An OS that runs on flash storage and runs a filesystem designed for flash storage (with trim commands visible to the OS), shouldn't get much slower when the drive fills up.

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Reply Score: 2

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Wed 19th Jun 2013 17:13 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

I didn't experience anything like that, but I'm not using Nexus 7 with Android. I'm using PlasmaActive there.

Reply Score: 1

I don't have a problem
by modmans2ndcoming on Wed 19th Jun 2013 22:28 UTC
modmans2ndcoming
Member since:
2005-11-09

I've had my Nexus since the day they first started arriving from pre-orders. I have no problems with lags or anything like that.

Reply Score: 2

Re:
by kurkosdr on Thu 20th Jun 2013 07:48 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Blackberry's QNX-based OS as a relatively successful mobile platform whose internals are potentially optimized for embedded needs.


I talked about the fikesystem, not all "the internals".

I've had my Nexus since the day they first started arriving from pre-orders. I have no problems with lags or anything like that.

And if you took the time to clarify how much you 've filled it up and whether you 've used Forever Gone or not, it would actually be a useful post.

PS: Sorry for "wasting threads". The mobile version of osnews doesn't have a "reply to post"

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Reply Score: 2

NSA logging on!
by mistersoft on Thu 20th Jun 2013 12:15 UTC
mistersoft
Member since:
2011-01-05

<tinfoil_hat>

Can't believe no one's suggested the most obvious reason for these slow downs. Forget plausible possibilities like filesystem clogs, and Trim implementations..

It's obviously after around this length of time, depending of course upon how quickly you've racked up a suitable keyword quotient, that the NSA monitoring machine will have picked you up, logged you as monitor worthy - and will presently be 'logging on' to your device and installing keyloggers, decryptosomes and all sorts..! Which necessarily slow things down 25-75%

</tinfoil_hat>

Reply Score: 1

Fill up the Flash system to Max
by hackus on Thu 20th Jun 2013 20:05 UTC
hackus
Member since:
2006-06-28

5th generation flash hardware systems do not have durability or issues with garbage collection if you fill them up.

My guess is, if you use to have a fast Nexus 7 or any device, and it is not fast now...it is more than likely what you loaded, or you have the internal flash mostly filled 80% or more.

try factory resetting, and move your stuff onto a much larger SDCARD and never fill it up over 50%.

Next generation of tablets might fix that.

-Hack

Reply Score: 2

Re:
by kurkosdr on Thu 20th Jun 2013 20:42 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Wow! This Forever Gone app fixed the randon slowness issues in my Optimus 2X. I thought they were caused by lack of RAM, turns out they were caused by JunkOS being, well, junk.

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Reply Score: 2

Re
by kurkosdr on Thu 20th Jun 2013 20:46 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Now I have to perform two types of clean up every end of month. Delete the gallery cache which can grow into substantial sizes (>1GB) if left uncleaned for a year, and do the Forever Gone trick.

My old Symbian S60 phone? (N70) Taking care of itself for 6 years now. Android needs to be petted. Progress! (Ok, sorry for the whining)

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Reply Score: 2

Re:
by kurkosdr on Fri 21st Jun 2013 14:18 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Oh please... iOS has these "hiccups" no less than Android.


Only if the iOS app you are running is poorly written. Android also has hiccups in it's own system (ie homescreens, settings screen) and it's own apps

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Reply Score: 2