5 reasons why your mobile slows down over time

Who I am
Aina Martin
@ainamartin
5 reasons why your mobile slows down over time

And how to try to remedy it

Unless you change smartphone every six months, you will surely have experienced a loss of performance in the device you currently use. And, let us specify immediately, this is not an "Android versus iPhone" issue. Users of both types often complain that their phones aren't as fast as they used to be.





Don't worry: it's not just your subjective impression. It is possible that your device has become slower, and there are many causes. Here's what they are, and what can be done to remedy them.

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1) Operating system updates

When you bought the smartphone, there was a specific version of the operating system on board. Maybe Android 4.4 KitKat, maybe iOS7, both released in 2013. Those versions, when they were released, were developed with certain hardware specifications.

Today those specs have drastically improved. New features have been added to both Android and iOS, based on the new specifications. And so, newer versions of an operating system require more power and resources for a device to run smoothly.

In other words: if you have a 2013 smartphone with Android 4.4 KitKat on board and you have updated it to Android 7.0 Nougat, you don't have enough power to handle all the new functions. For this reason, the feeling is that of dealing with a slow device.

What can you do? Not much, unfortunately. Please do some minor updates (e.g., upgrade from 7.0 to 7.1) but avoid the heavier ones (e.g. from 7.1 to 8.0).

2) App updates

There is no doubt, even the most "light" apps can grow abnormally over time with the various updates that follow one another.

The real problem is that developers don't take into account the resources their apps leverage. It is a fact that, as hardware becomes more and more powerful, developers also tend to "get lazy" and not optimize apps so that they do not drain cell phone resources.



Over time, apps tend to consume more and more RAM and CPU even though the hardware remains the same, and so performance gradually decreases.

Possible remedies? Are apps growing more and more? Try to replace them with other "lighter" ones, or with older (if still available) and less demanding versions.

3) App in background

Another reason why your mobile seems to be slower and slower could be that you now have a lot more apps installed than when you just bought it.

The problem is that some apps run in the background even if you aren't actively using them. Think mail checking programs, home screen widgets, and even animated wallpapers.


Each additional background app uses CPU and RAM, and leaves less for the ones you're actively using. In this way the performance is increasingly poor.

What can you do? Identify the apps that consume the most battery, as massive battery consumption indicates a higher consumption of CPU resources. Uninstall apps you don't use. Switched to static backgrounds. Disable background processing in apps that allow it.

4) Loss of memory efficiency

All smartphones and tablets use flash memory, a type of memory with no moving parts (unlike mechanical hard drives). The most common memory is NAND, fast and convenient, but with some features that impact performance.

First thing, NAND memory slows down as it fills up. The loss of speed can be significant.

Another consideration, the NAND memory if it degrades with l'use.

What can be done? It is usually recommended to stay under 75% of your device's total storage capacity. If your internal storage is 8Gb, don't cross the 6Gb threshold. This can even extend the life of the cells through a technique called "wear leveling".


5) Expectations

Despite everything we have said, it is possible that you just "feel" that your device is slower.

With each presentation of new mobile phones, in fact, it seems to us that the one we currently have suddenly becomes worse than the one just released.

And, as friends, colleagues and family members update their smartphones, yours seems inexorably slow. It's just a question of expectations.

Then a? Simple, accept the facts or switch to a new mobile.  

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