Why do Our Mobile Phones Always Slow Down?

We’ve all seen it; A new version of your phone comes out, and there’s a noticeable drop in speed and performance on yours, and perhaps even a slew of new bugs and strange behaviors you face on the older phone.  We start to believe that maybe the manufacturer of the phone does this on purpose, just to make me upgrade and buy the newer phone.  If you find yourself thinking that, take a moment and relax. It’s a little more complex than that, but suffice it to say, these companies don’t purposefully break your old phone.

It all starts with the design and release of a new updated phone.  Usually, a new line of iPhones or Android phones means new features.  Perhaps better Bluetooth, battery, resolution, or introduction of virtual reality chips and other crazy new things in the phone.  Whenever we get these hardware additions or enhancements, there has to be software that supports and utilizes them.  This leads to the software updates.  In most cases, a newer version of the phone software is released right before the actual new handset it was designed for is released.  Although the new version of the software was originally designed for the new device, usually for at least the first year, if not the second or third, your older phone will be able to receive the new operating system update.  So, if your phone starts having a bug after the new update, and the new phone comes out shortly afterward, it feels like it was done to encourage you to purchase the newer model.  The truth is that software updates are actually quite complex.  You’re essentially taking all of the ways the phone works, and updating and changing every component, while simultaneously retaining your personal files and settings.  A former manager at Microsoft, Scott Berkun, describes it as “Changing all of the plumbing in your house out, without changing anything else”.  When doing this, there’s bound to be a hiccup.

If software updates are required, and they can cause hiccups, then what can you do to prevent the issues and slowdowns?  There’s easy, and slightly less easy ways to resolve these problems and take away your concerns on the capitalist companies trying to squeeze out all of your money and destroy your phone.  First and foremost, get rid of all the junk in your phone.  Everything from battery optimizers, and junk files cleaners are cluttering up your phone and causing issues.  Also, things like temporary files and cached data cause slowdowns and hiccups.  If nothing else, check your total storage usage.  If you have a 32GB phone, and you’re hovering right at the full mark, you’re going to run into problems.  Delete some of those old videos or apps, or upload them to a computer or cloud service and remove them to make space for the phone to run smoother.

Another solution is to start fresh.  Sometimes the whole issue with a bug in an update is that the system was bugged from the start, and has just come to fruition with the latest software update.  If any personal information is there that you’d like to keep, make sure you do a backup of your phone.  Contacts, photos, even text messages can usually be backed up one way or another.  Then simply reset and restore your phone with the latest update.  This usually makes your issues not only go away, but could make your phone run as if it was brand new off the shelf again.  So, if there’s a new update available for your device, go for it.  And if you’re experiencing issues after the update, try some of the above steps to improve your problems.  If they continue after that, it may very well be time to consider a new phone.