Jul 31 AT 1:10 PM Dustin Earley 38 Comments

With Android 4.3, my Nexus 7 is a completely new device


I’ve been asked by a handful of people if the stories are true. Earlier this week, we reported that in the update to Android 4.3, the original Nexus 7 might see a performance boost thanks to newly added fstrim support. I’m very happy to report that my Nexus 7 has fixed itself. Finally, one of my favorite Android devices I’ve ever owned is usable again.

Since writing about just how bad my first Nexus 7 has fared through a year of use, I’ve received a lot of mail on just what was causing problems with the device and how to fix them. As for what the problem was, it was all thanks to cheap memory and bad memory management. Anandtech has a fantastic writeup on exactly what the update to Android 4.3 with fstrim means for Nexus devices, so I’ll refer you to them for the nitty gritty. I’ll just say that my dreams have come true.

As much as I appreciated the solutions on how to fix the lag problem in the Nexus 7 (some of which were actually the same exact thing as the official fix from Google itself), I didn’t want anyone to miss the point here. No one should have had to download or develop anything for the lag problem to be fixed. One of the best things about Android is that when there is a problem with a device, the community comes up with ways to solve it, but there are far more users out there who have no idea how to access these solutions than those that do.

I, along with thousands of other users, just wanted a small update from Google that magically fixed what was wrong. It took a full year, but we’ve finally got it. I’ve been using Android 4.3 on my Nexus 7, keeping it plugged in at night to fulfill the requirements to enable memory management for several days now, and have noticed a big difference. I’m not the only one; reports on the lag problems being fixed have come in from all over the web.

It’s a shame that it’s taken this long for the Nexus 7 to be fixed, but better late than never I suppose. I’m just glad this story has a happy ending.

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • redraider133

    4.3 may be “minor” in that it was mainly under the hood enhancements, but I feel the new things they added along with TRIM is going to be key as devices age to keep them running smoothly like they did out of the box.

  • http://midweststitch.com ajonrichards

    Would you say that Google seems to be taking a more proactive approach to public complaints, given the fstrim fix with 4.3 and the unsigned app issue from few weeks ago?

  • Alain Lafond

    This 4.3 saved me the wait for another N, as I’m canadian, and we always things “later”.
    Way to go Google…

  • w9jds

    With all the improvements in 4.3 like better security, Trim (to increase performance and help your hardware last longer), and the notification update (allows you to push updates to bluetooth items and has better update system), Google has proven that they care a lot about the users and that we have some good things to look forward to for 5.0!

  • binary

    It took one year for Google to fix the problem and all I can read is how peaople are happy about it.

    • Dan Jones

      Of course. Very happy that it’s fixed.

      • george1378

        His point is that people should not be too happy since it took a year. It is something that should have been fixed in a month or less really.

  • RxGadget

    Still waiting on my update. So looking forward to it. Every blog I read and it’s comment boards all say like brand new again.

    • Dan Jones

      Same here. I can’t wait for my update to arrive.

      • Dan Jones

        Scratch that. Just after I typed my last comment, I checked again, and it had just started to download. Woohoo!

  • Bo

    Can you explain the “keeping plugged in at night” part a little more?

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      It is said that TRIM has a few prerequisites before running, one of which is battery. I heard that it was somewhere around 70%, but it could have been OVER 70%, which is why Dustin was keeping it plugged in.

  • jamal adam

    Glad to hear the problem was fixed. Now I’m very excited to receive the update. Time to bring my Nexus 7 back to stock and check out 4.3

  • Zarani Barrow

    Unbelievable! I gave my OG Nexus 7 to my sister-in-law last week because it became buggy. Of course the fix that issue after I give it away.

  • abm one

    Did 4.3 fix the wii-mote issues?

  • bleh_zero

    That TRIM is a magical thing isn’t it? Now only if all devices could have it enabled with ease.

  • anthony

    I will say that the lag problems fixed but I still have the same problem which includes not allowing me to watch my what I have purchased in the play store. I’ve emailed Google numerous times before and they said it was a known problem and so I just assumed they would address it by the update. However I got the update today and nothing. Hmmmm, the answer from the emails were “it’s a known problem”. How unfortunate.

  • Lauren90

    I have the ipad mini, its perfect and runs on version 7 already! Why didnt you buy the much better ipad mini?????

    • kiki.utena

      Crap DPI for starters

      • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

        Technically PPI. You’re thinking of the physical measurement of pixels per inch, not the software setting of dots per inch :) but yes, the iPad Mini display is a little disgraceful for a higher end product.

        • kiki.utena

          Thanks, that was what I was thinking :)

    • Marcus

      IPad mini sucks

  • kiki.utena

    Just wish someone had done some before and after benchmarks with Quadrant, Antutu, e.t.c. Anything with an I/O section so we could quantise the difference it makes.

  • donger

    Interesting and good to know.

  • Richo

    I must same my nexus 7 (2012) is running like total crap now, there is noticable lag where there hasn’t been for the previous 12 months (at all) I have had it. I am actually thinking of rooting it just so I can go back to 4.2.2. Kindle app runs slow and crashes from time to time, Dolphn Browser crashes 90% of the time and is slow to open bookmarks etc (never was), opening system apps like setting is even laggy, in fact nearly every app stutters, yeah.. yeah… I known this is because the app writers need to update their apps to take 4.3 into account but seriously, every single one?

    FYI I have a 16gb nexus and have over 9gb free.
    Till now I was extremely happy with my nexus 7, I am beginning to wonder if 4.3 is a subversive attempt to convince every owner “they need to upgrade”. They have made me do it.

  • Cholo Lennon

    Guys! Trimming problem is solved in prior versions (<4.3) with "Forever gone (SD card cleaner)" app. It's very easy, just ten minutes operation and my N7 (16gb) was like new :-)

  • david jones richrads

    My Nexus 4 is not much different with the android 4.3. I don’t think there is much of difference in 4.2.2 and 4.3. Anyways if you wanna get a Samsung GS4 google Edition, you must enter this Giveaway http://www.mobileosworld.com/2013/07/samsung-galaxy-s-4-google-edition.html

  • OnIn2

    Great article and I totally agree with you on

    “No one should have had to download or develop anything for the lag problem to be fixed”

  • brettthmonster

    Since I have updated to 4.3 on my Nexus 10, I have seen a lag and stutters that were not present before. Very frustrating.

  • Sam

    I’ve been reading about trim but I haven’t seen any difference on my nexus 7 if anything I’ve seen it it lagging a bit but I’ve also heard that I’m not supposed to let the battery how lower then than 70% any idea how this works??

  • thel0nerang3r

    I have a tablet with ICS that will never see JB officially. It’s a Tegra2 tablet that is a pain to get a ROM on it. In any case, I’ve been having slowdowns to the point where apps freeze and the system would randomly stop. I found “Clean Master” in the Play Store for the low price of free. It cleaned up 731MB in cache files and other things. The tablet feels the way it did when I do a factory reset… which had been my way of solving the freezes in the past. Don’t know if that will fix anyone else’s slowing issues.. but worth a try.

  • joao

    First let me say that i am a Unix professional and i use Linux on my pc, so you can understand that by no means I am an Apple addict! On the last 3 years I have had an LG P500, a crappy Huawey (very low end), a Galaxy S and an Archos tablet. I also have an iPad (1) and an iPhone 4. Let me out this simple : I would like to love the Android devices but ALL of them, from the cheapest to the most expensive have a noticeable performance degradation, while the Apple devices run as they are freshly installed. I still can run new games in the iPad but the Archos struggles to run most new games … I sincerely hope that this fixes many of the problems because I reckon that Apple is too expensive (I bought both devices on BIG promotional campaigns, cause I would never ever pay for what they ask for those devices)… so I’m keeping my fingers crossed because I have just bought a Nexus 7 (2012) for my wife’s birthday and I hope it will surprise me with the 4.3 update :-D

  • brian

    I have a Nexus 7 which totally crashed when trying to update to Android 4.3. Got it back from Asus today and itsd stuck at X again when trying to update. I’m beyond seething ! Any advice appreciated

  • Kakkoii

    Is it only me or have other people noticed the following since upgrading their Nexus 7 2012 model to Android 4.3:
    - Slower to charge
    - Screen turns on for no apparent reason
    - Double tap in any application and it zooms even if a double tap is meant to do something else.
    - Battery drains much faster (probably due to screen being on for no damn reason)

    • YoungT

      Actually mine does the same exact thing..its annoying!

    • keshri

      Since upgrading my Nexus 7 2012 model to Andrroid 4.3,it has become very very slow in charging and Battery drains much faster.Can anyone give me some tip to overcome this problem.

    • Noman

      My nexus 7 (2012) android 4.3, battery drains too fast. Notable reason is screen on. On low brightness I can have my screen on for just 5 hours.

  • Jason

    Nexus 7 is still terrible with memory management. Memory leaks occur and crash on it as fast as a Nexus 1 running Gingerbread. Of course if an app is designed properly it shouldn’t happen, but the fact that most phones don’t die and this device does shows there’s something seriously wrong with it.