Android 4.3 Could Breathe New Life Into Your Original Nexus 7


The dotted pattern of the original Nexus 7 might have been replaced with the soft-touch on this year's but, those with the original Nexus 7 might miss it. What they won't miss however, if they upgrade to the newer version, is the massive boost in speed they're bound to experience. Not everyone is looking to upgrade right away, and considering the 2012 Nexus 7 still packs some pretty advanced hardware for a little guy there's no rush. If you're waiting for the new Nexus 7 to launch in your corner of the world - those in Europe, for instance - then you'll be happy to hear that Android 4.3 could be a welcome speed boost for your faithful tablet.

The original Nexus 7 was obviously built to meet certain price requirements and we've long suspected - as have many others - that corners were cut where the tablet's memory is concerned. Resulting in a perceptible "lag" many of you have been reporting. I can honestly say, that my 2012 Nexus 7 is nowhere near as fast as it was when I bought it. There are various reasons for this lag but, the interesting thing here is that Android 4.3 might well present a fix, if not at least a little help.

AnandTech have gotten their hands on the new Nexus 7 and, as usual, they've gone ahead and put it through all sorts of tests. Something they came across applies directly to the original Nexus 7 though, the introduction of fstrim. Here's what they found when they ran one of their memory tests:

The new Nexus 7 (2013) with Android 4.3 includes support for fstrim, essentially idle garbage collection, which TRIMs the eMMC when a few conditions are met - the device is idle, screen off, and battery above roughly 70-percent. I'm told that TRIM support has been part of the eMMC standard since around version 4.2, it was just a matter of enabling it in software. The result is that the new Nexus 7 shouldn't have these aging affects at all. Better yet, fstrim support has also been added to the old Nexus 7 with as of the Android 4.3 update, so if you've got a Nexus 7 that feels slow, I/O performance should get better after fstrim runs in the background. 

So, there you have it - with the Android 4.3 update you might find your device perking up a little bit. If you've updated to Android 4.3, let us know if your original Nexus 7 feels any faster. I'm keen to try this out for myself, so I'll be performing my first wipe since I got it and I'll be looking out for a quicker Nexus 7.

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About the Author

Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.
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