Eli5, how smartphone software slows down older devices?

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Guys, why does newer firmware OS slow down on older hardware?

Is it the graphics? Processing? Ram?


In: Technology

3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s the size. Older devices have much less GB space than newer models. Update file size can often be larger than the device’s storage space.

Just my opinion here: I sometimes think it’s done on purpose so we have to buy new devices regularly.

Anonymous 0 Comments

New software expects new hardware. Your old phone isn’t getting new hardware to keep up with the new software.

Some companies (apple) force updates that you don’t need, and they don’t optimize to drive sales on their newest devices.

Some companies just create software and updates non maliciously to provide a better user experience. If it slows your old device down, it’s just a consequence of not enough hardware resources to run the new software or updates effectively.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There are multiple ways. 

Software tends to grow overtime to match the hardware it’s expected to run on.  They may have additional processes running in the backgroun that expect a higher number of processor threads than an old device has. They may start working with larger chunks of memory expecting machines to have more, especially in media heavy machines loading higher resolution images as parts of apps and games. Sometimes they simply become larger to handle additional features and outrun the available storage. This isn’t just operating systems, although they are large pieces of software.

It may also be intentional. It would be fairly trivial to wrote software that throttles the use of hardware.  Basically all smart phones do this already to control battery usage and or heat, making an OS update that says “Hey if this phone is X model or older, shut off a processor” core instead of “Hey if this device is set to battery saver” or “Hey if the cpu temp of this device is over x” is not difficult. Supposedly Apple was doing this foe awhile there, with the excuse that it preserved the battery performance of older devices.