What you need to know
- Samsung is reportedly throttling more than 10,000 apps on its latest Galaxy S22 flagships.
- The culprit behind the throttling is the Game Optimizing Service preinstalled on some Galaxy smartphones.
- It's unclear how widespread the app throttling is, but Samsung is reportedly looking into it.
The launch of the Galaxy S22 series has gone fairly smoothly for Samsung, but new reports have drawn up complaints about app throttling that could end up changing that tune.
Android Authority came across complaints that Samsung is using the Game Optimizing Service (GOS) preinstalled on Galaxy smartphones to "optimize" more than just games — apparently, more than 10,000 apps are seeing their performance throttled from the service. This includes apps like Instagram, Netflix, TikTok, and Samsung's own apps, with some of these apps showing as much as a 50% drop in performance.
However, benchmarking apps seem unaffected by the throttling, which could paint an inaccurate picture for users that rely on them to measure the performance of a phone (although our Jerry Hildenbrand previously noted why you shouldn't rely on benchmarking).
GOS is preinstalled on the Galaxy S22 series as a system app, and there's apparently no way to disable it. A cursory glance shows that it's present on many of Samsung's best Android phones, including our Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, meaning the throttling may not be limited to the company's latest flagships.
This notably mirrors the same situation OnePlus found itself caught in last year when it was discovered that it was throttling tons of apps without telling consumers or giving them an option to toggle said "optimization" off. And while the actual performance losses likely went unnoticed by users, OnePlus was at fault for its under-the-radar approach and the fact that it waited until after it was called out to address it.
It seems Samsung did not learn from the OnePlus debacle, but the company may be addressing the matter, as pointed out by a statement posted in Korean. It notes how GOS is implemented "to prevent excessive heat generation during gameplay" and that Samsung plans to update Game Booster to allow users to prioritize performance. That said, we've reached out to Samsung to confirm and for clarification on which phones are being throttled, as well as what exactly we can expect from said update. We will update this article as soon as we hear anything from Samsung.
Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.
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