Samsung deliberately slows down Android apps without warning users


As smartphone makers appear to continue to cap the performance of a number of apps installed on their phones to optimize battery life, leading brand Samsung appears to be following suit.

On Twitter, users posted a long list of 10,000 apps subjected to performance caps by Samsung’s Game Optimizing Service (GOS), prompting a flood of complaints from users.

Samsung Game Optimizing Service List includes popular non-gaming apps, excludes benchmark apps

While the GOS appears to be gaming-centric, the list includes prominent non-gaming apps like Microsoft Office, Netflix, Google Keep, and TikTok. The list also includes Samsung services and apps including Samsung Cloud, Samsung Pass, Samsung Pay, Secure Folder and Dialer. However, benchmark apps like PC Mark, GeekBench 5, GFX Bench, Antutu, and 3D Mark are not on the list because Samsung has chosen not to throttle such apps.

But a Korean YouTuber tinkered with this feature by changing the package name from 3D Mark to Genshin Impact, a GOS-listed game running the benchmark app. This rebranded app showed a dramatically lower benchmark score and average framerate than other apps.

Also read: Samsung Galaxy S22, other products with material from old fishing nets

The GOS is pre-installed as a system app on some Galaxy phones. And as such, the GOS cannot be disabled, 9to5Google noted in a post. Although the purpose of the GOS was not explicitly stated, its name would imply that the app was developed to improve game performance.

It appears on the Galaxy Store, but Android Authority said that clicking “Install” would show it’s not compatible with a Galaxy S22+ review device. It also said that the GOS is not on the Galaxy S20 FE and Galaxy S10e. But it said the GOS was seen on their Galaxy S21+ review device and that it cannot be disabled.

Twitter user @GaryeonHan pointed out that Samsung appears to be using GOS to “optimize” the performance of thousands of non-gaming apps. If the app is part of the GOS list, its performance is limited.

Samsung GOS guarantees better system endurance, battery life, but not enough users?

Such drastic measures seem to boil down to optimizing battery life. This means that their operation does not require the full CPU and GPU power of the on-chip system, such as e.g. B. Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which guarantees better system endurance. Google OnePlus was caught making the same move last year, throttling the performance of popular apps but excluding benchmark apps. Google promised to make it optional in future updates.

While it’s understandable that these smartphone manufacturers want to balance the performance and battery life of the installed apps, this seems to be a disadvantage for users who expect the best from their devices and the apps, especially the gaming packages. And since the benchmark apps aren’t part of the list, that means the benchmark results don’t reflect the actual experience of the performance drop. This makes it appear that the device would have improved battery life and performance, but may not reflect an ideal experience for users.

Related article: Samsung Galaxy S22 pre-order deals: Are the specs, features and price better than the S21?


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