By 30 July 2013 | Categories: news


Here’s an interesting effect of the latest version of Android, Android 4.3, on older Nexus devices. Apparently, upgrading one’s tablet, most particularly on last year’s Nexus 7 (review), results in noticeable improvements to the tablet’s performance, especially on devices that have become subject to their performance diminishing over time.

With the new Nexus 7 just being announced, this apparently offers a breath of fresh air for the older 2012 models. The reason, according to AnandTech, is grounded in some solid technical science.

In brief, apparently, Android 4.3 brings support for Fstrim, which is used on mounted filesystems to discard blocks which are no longer used by the filesystem. The problem arose in which used blocks of storage were not actually cleared, but rather were ‘waiting’ for new data to be written over them.

Slowdowns and solutions

What this meant, in practical terms is that if you are the kind of user who packed your Nexus 7’s storage to the brim with content, and then later deleted it, the device could still suffer a slowdown in its general performance under previous versions of Android Jelly Bean.

Now though, that problem seems to have been mitigated against. It also means that, if, like us, you were a fan of the 2012 Nexus 7 (review) but have found performance degradation to be haunting the device of late, you may well be advised to upgrade to Android 4.3, before casting a wandering eye on replacing your 7” tablet.

There are other good reasons to upgrade an old Nexus 7 though, particularly if you tend to share your tablet with family members frequently. The latest version of the OS offers the ability to create restricted profiles on your device, thus limiting family or friends’ access to apps or content on your tablet.

To the point

Of course, this may not be the best news if you are the type of user addicted to having the latest and greatest technology, and were merely looking for an excuse to stepping up to the high resolution screen that the newest Nexus 7 offers.

Although, if you are truly a gadget-phile seeking an excuse to upgrade, no doubt one will present itself; the latest Android update’s impact on the Nexus 7 may just mean you need to look a little harder.


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