Joel_Gresch

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Apr 3, 2022
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Hello all! Long-time Reader, first-time poster.

So, the long short is that I have a tablet that used to be very fast, and now is very very very slow, and I have no explanation why.

It's an Asus Memo Pad 7 LTE. Back when I had a slow and unreliable phone, this was my mobile gaming / YouTube device. I used it to play Minecraft, Star Wars KOTOR (an original Xbox port), Call of Duty Mobile, and lots of other great games. I was probably averaging 30-40 fps. Totally useable, and I was quite happy with it.

After sitting powered off in a climate controlled desk drawer for over a year, I thought I'd get it out to play some of those old games. It was UNPLAYABLE. Frame rates were suddenly 1 to 2 fps, and I was constantly bombarded with "app not responding" messages from games and background processes.

Here's the kicker...

My brother has the exact same tablet, purchased at the same time. While mine sat in the drawer, he was wondering what to do with his old potato. "Play some games!" I said. "It's actually really fast!". He installed the previously mentioned Star Wars Game, and found that he could hardly move, let alone swing a lightsaber.

"That's weird..." I thought. "Mine really is fast. I'll show you!" After running back to my house and pulling out the old brick, I found it had the exact same issue. A device that once could compete with a laptop was now unable to pass the lock screen without showing "System UI is not responding."

I've tried the following:

•Factory reset
•Clear cache
•Disable unused apps
•Set BG process limit to 0
•Enable "Don't keep apps"
•Check CPU usage for resource hogs

I've completely come up short. I'm beginning to think there is some conspiracy afoot, like a built-in "slow down device" countdown that forces you to get a new device when yours gets too outdated. Silly, I know.

My main question is WHY? HOW? WHAT? Mainly the first one. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 
I have a pretty good guess, and I'm pretty sure you're not going to like it. The Asus Memo Pad 7 LTE was released in 2014 with KitKat (Android 4.4). The architecture of Android has gone through so many iterations since then that it's hardly the same operating system. The games you play have been updated for more modern versions of the OS and I'm surprised that they are even allowed to be installed on such an old version.

Game developers are in a very competitive space and if they took legacy performance into consideration when releasing or upgrading games, they'd be left behind pretty darn quickly. Unless you meet a guy (or girl) in funny clothes who pop out of a blue police box, there's not much chance of getting that tablet to perform like it used to. :(
 
I have a pretty good guess, and I'm pretty sure you're not going to like it...........there's not much chance of getting that tablet to perform like it used to. :(

Well you're right, I don't like it

I understand what you're saying, and I'm sure it is a factor. However, it doesn't quite explain why it was very fast until I put it away, but very slow when I got it out and tested it with no updates. Same Android version (5.1.1), same games, no changes made whatsoever.

What's more, even immediately after a factory reset, it gets "app not responding" messages on the lock screen.

Something's just not quite right...

All the same, thanks for the quick response!
 
Hello all! Long-time Reader, first-time poster.

So, the long short is that I have a tablet that used to be very fast, and now is very very very slow, and I have no explanation why.

It's an Asus Memo Pad 7 LTE. Back when I had a slow and unreliable phone, this was my mobile gaming / YouTube device. I used it to play Minecraft, Star Wars KOTOR (an original Xbox port), Call of Duty Mobile, and lots of other great games. I was probably averaging 30-40 fps. Totally useable, and I was quite happy with it.

After sitting powered off in a climate controlled desk drawer for over a year, I thought I'd get it out to play some of those old games. It was UNPLAYABLE. Frame rates were suddenly 1 to 2 fps, and I was constantly bombarded with "app not responding" messages from games and background processes.

Here's the kicker...

My brother has the exact same tablet, purchased at the same time. While mine sat in the drawer, he was wondering what to do with his old potato. "Play some games!" I said. "It's actually really fast!". He installed the previously mentioned Star Wars Game, and found that he could hardly move, let alone swing a lightsaber.

"That's weird..." I thought. "Mine really is fast. I'll show you!" After running back to my house and pulling out the old brick, I found it had the exact same issue. A device that once could compete with a laptop was now unable to pass the lock screen without showing "System UI is not responding."

I've tried the following:

•Factory reset
•Clear cache
•Disable unused apps
•Set BG process limit to 0
•Enable "Don't keep apps"
•Check CPU usage for resource hogs

I've completely come up short. I'm beginning to think there is some conspiracy afoot, like a built-in "slow down device" countdown that forces you to get a new device when yours gets too outdated. Silly, I know.

My main question is WHY? HOW? WHAT? Mainly the first one. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!


You've referring to this game?
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aspyr.swkotor&hl=en_US&gl=US
Which apparently still supports Android 4.1.

However, the Asus Memo Pad 7 uses a 32-bit Intel Atom CPU. Which to me given what you've reported, I'm thinking the later versions of Star Wars KOTOR for Android are no longer been optimised for 32-bit x86 architecture hardware. Maybe same for latest versions of other apps and games. Android on 32-bit x86 is very much legacy(Intel Atom Z3560 is discontinued), as is Android 4.x. Just about all new Android devices made now use 64-bit ARM architecture. Not a conspiracy, this is real. :)
 
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You've referring to this game?

Right, but I think you're missing the point...

It's not just "KOTOR is slow now." Everything is slow, almost to the point of being unusable, even after factory reset, with no games or apps installed.

I would think a factory reset would restore it to the condition it was in when I got it, which was really fast, considering it would be running the OS version that was designed for that era of hardware.

I'm beginning to suspect hardware failure, but if that's the case, it would have to be some flaw in the design of the Memo Pad 7, considering my brother had the same issue around the same time. I doubt we both dropped them on their heads in such a way that left them equally disabled.
 
Do you have updates turned off? I don't mean for the games, I mean for the whole play store. I would guess that some of the underlying apps like the play store, gmail, maps etc would all update as soon as your device hit a live internet connection. A factory reset won't roll back versions, it will only clear user data.
 
I see... After a bit of reading, it seems you're right. A factory reset does not re-install the factory OS, it simply wipes user data like you said. It's possible that at some point right before I stopped using it, it updated to a new version of Android that completely broke all performance and functionality. That would also explain why it happened to my brother's tablet as well. Seems ridiculous, but understandable, considering how hardware keeps getting faster, and software keeps trying to push it's limits. I may try flashing a new (old) rom, but I've been avoiding this option, as it's really difficult to find roms for devices that aren't flagship models from the past few years.

It seems a shame that this little guy will never be able to do what it used to. I would understand not being able to play the latest games, but I can't even use it to browse the web without constant crashing and much frustration. I'm not going to get into a rant about e-waste, but I can't help feeling a little disappointed (this coming from a guy who, until very recently, used a 2007 Dell Vostro 1500 as a perfectly capable daily driver).

Thanks for all the help! It's been very... enlightening. For now, I guess I'll keep using it as a remote Spotify player until some future update renders that functionality impossible.
 
I see... After a bit of reading, it seems you're right. A factory reset does not re-install the factory OS, it simply wipes user data like you said. It's possible that at some point right before I stopped using it, it updated to a new version of Android that completely broke all performance and functionality. That would also explain why it happened to my brother's tablet as well. Seems ridiculous, but understandable, considering how hardware keeps getting faster, and software keeps trying to push it's limits. I may try flashing a new (old) rom, but I've been avoiding this option, as it's really difficult to find roms for devices that aren't flagship models from the past few years.

It seems a shame that this little guy will never be able to do what it used to. I would understand not being able to play the latest games, but I can't even use it to browse the web without constant crashing and much frustration. I'm not going to get into a rant about e-waste, but I can't help feeling a little disappointed (this coming from a guy who, until very recently, used a 2007 Dell Vostro 1500 as a perfectly capable daily driver).

I'm sure computers haven't changed or advanced so rapidly as mobile devices in the last decade or so. One thing AFAIK Android tablets using Intel x86 architecture haven't been manufactured for a while.

In the early days of Android(only just over a decade ago), there was a few Android devices using MIPS architecture, and that's long obsolete now. MIPS originally been used in high-end, and very expensive Silicon Graphics workstations.

Up until last year I was still sometimes using a 2008 white MacBook, and that still worked. And I'm still using a 2015 MacBook Air for many tasks now, including typing this post. But on the other hand I've had umpteen smart-phones, and a few tablets as well. The longest used been three years, a Huawei Mate10 phone. Which I replaced last year with a Samsung Note20 Ultra, which will hopefully see me through another three years.
 
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It ispossible, although tedious, to revert system apps (and user apps as well) back to versions that would make these devices perform as you remember.

The problem, besides the hours of time, is that those versions of apps may very well no longer function online with the sites they link to.

To be sure, it is highly likely that the devices really could be useable online, most likely not for gaming but for general online stuff.

Also, keep in mind that these things are ancient by today's standards, and technology with such devices moves ahead faster and faster.

To be sure, you yourself said that you have not used it in quite some time.

The speed that you remember is not going to be fast by today's standards.

I have every smartphone that has ever been mine- even dumb phones going back to 2001 (which was a 1997 version when I got it!)

When I do fire any of the old ones up, I am amazed at how slow they seem now, although I thought they were great when I was using them.

My ol'lady is still using a 7.1.1 that I have two of.
These things were great when we got them.
They did require routine clearing out, because the memory capacity was small.

So when her phone starts acting up, I have to do this maintenence on it.

Basically, I move her pics and videos to the SD card, delete any duplicates, update important apps, and clear the caches of all apps.
Then I do a restart.

This is what I do on a weekly basis with my devices (I tend to run two.)

With my current device, this can all be done in minutes.

With my slightly older device that I actually use as a phone, it takes a bit longer for each function.

Not a ton, but it is obvious.

I thought that device was fast (and it WAS the fastest device I ever had) until about 7 or 8 months later and I get this other device.

Now, when I go to do the service on my ol'lady's phone, I swear it is like dragging an anchor.
It took me hours, no kidding, because she had it so full and it is just that slow.
I always had a complaint with how long those 7.1.1 devices we have took to install updates or to restart them.

It takes about 2-3 minutes just to restart, whereas my phone (with double the memory, an octo core processor (the others are quad core) the same RAM but a better chipset) does it in about one minute flat.

Up until my latest devices, I just assumed that restarting took a long time.

Now it is like nothing.

Her battery is going bad, and although I can get her another one, I have already got her a new phone.

This was months ago, but she never activated it- now the carrier probably won't anyway.

Anyway, the point is that the devices we liked years ago in their prime are nothing compared to the devices of today.

These things have a typical useful lifespan of 2-4 years, but they will be outclassed long before then.
 
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