Nexus 7Google is currently rolling out Android 4.3 to a handful of devices, such as the Nexus 7. It’s a rather tame update as far as brand new front-facing features are concerned, but Google has made a change under the hood that has improved my tablet’s performance.

In recent days, it was discovered that Google added support for fstrim. Without going into super technical details, fstrim basically does a better job of freeing up data that isn’t being used by the tablet.

Think of the old Nexus 7 as a closet that held all the things you did and didn’t need. Fstrim is like a little gnome that goes into that closet and tidies it up for you without your direct input. The result is a tablet whose performance doesn’t get bogged down by unwanted data.

I immediately noticed the performance boost after installing the OTA update. My Nexus 7, like many others, had gotten very sluggish over the past year. It was so frustrating at times, I chose to not use it unless I was feeling particularly patient that day. At this time, I’m not experiencing that frustration anymore. The tablet still doesn’t feel like it’s a brand new machine, but it is better than it was.

I wouldn’t go so far to say skip the new Nexus 7 because Android 4.3 optimizes the old Nexus 7. After all, the new Nexus 7 has twice as much RAM, a faster processor and a full HD display. It really is an upgrade for people who want to leave the past behind.  But for those who choose not to move on just yet, Android 4.3 could make you appreciate your old Nexus 7 once again.

This post originally appeared on GadgeTell.


  1. I never stopped appreciating the “old” Nexus 7. Although I understand the issue of junk data mucking up the works, there was never a noticeable bad effect for me. I use the Nexus 7 practically every day and I never saw the “dreaded” slowdown. Nor, did I notice a snappy new performance upgrade. I guess that’s a good thing.

    If the LTE edition comes to Canada, I will probably buy that and hand down the current Nexus to my spouse. The Nexus 7 (2012) has been the most cost effective of the tablets I’ve sampled — in terms of price vs usage.

  2. I did have similar issues with the Nexus 7 and 4.2, to the point that I would rather use my wife’s iPad. Very frustrating. Since 4.3 I see no significant difference in speed. The N7 has become snappy again. Really great update from Google.

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