A new finding suggests Samsung is throttling the performance of thousands of Android apps on Galaxy smartphones. The issue affects many popular apps, including Google and Samsung’s first-party apps.
Samsung has an app called Game Optimization Service that comes preinstalled on many Galaxy phones. Although the name suggests the app helps improve gaming performance, it’s apparently being used to limit the performance of non-gaming apps. Users on the Korean tech forum Meeco have posted a list of affected apps that are subject to performance throttling. The list includes 10,000 popular apps, including Instagram, TikTok, Netflix, Microsoft Office, Google Keep, Spotify, Snapchat, YouTube Music, and more. Samsung’s own apps such as Samsung Pay, Secure Folder, Bixby, and others are also on the list. Notably, there are no benchmark apps on this blacklist.
Samsung created an app called GOS and used the app to limit game performance, making the gaming experience worse. However, according to what the Korean community found out today, Samsung confirmed that it has put performance limits on more than 10,000 apps… pic.twitter.com/U58AreZZoo
– 가련 가련 (@GaryeonHan) March 2, 2022
A video posted by Korean YouTuber shows how blacklisted apps are subject to inferior performance while benchmark apps are given a free hand. In his test, the YouTuber changed the package name of the 3DMark benchmark app to Genshin Impact, one of the apps on the blacklist. The unmodified version of 3D Mark scored 2618 points in the Wild Life Extreme test. When he ran the same test with the spoofed version, there was a significant drop in the score – 1141 points. In other words, the spoofed version performed 56% worse than the unmodified version.
It’s not immediately clear if the Game Optimization Service app is installed on every Galaxy phone. Android Authority notes that they could not find the app on their Galaxy S22 series units, Galaxy S20 FE and Galaxy S10s. Meanwhile, 9to5Google mentions it’s installed on their Galaxy S22 Plus unit. It’s possible Samsung may have pushed this app via a recent software update.
According to a post on Naver, it seems Samsung is aware of the issue and is conducting an internal investigation. While Samsung has not clarified why it’s throttling Android apps, it’s likely in an attempt to improve battery life. OnePlus was caught doing something similar with the OnePlus 9 Pro last year. The company used an app called OnePlus Performance Service to throttle popular Android apps. The company later confirmed it had added the performance-limiting mechanism to improve the phone’s battery life and heat management.
Update: Samsung says it will give users an option to prioritize performance
Samsung has provided more details about the Game Optimization Service app. Samsung says the GOS app optimizes CPU and GPU performance to prevent heating issues during extended gaming sessions. While Samsung’s announcement does not mention anything about the app throttling issue, it says the company is working on a software update that will add a performance priority mode to the Game Launcher app. The option will be accessible from within the game booster lab.
Here’s the full announcement from Samsung (machine-translated from Korean):
“We would like to inform you about the Galaxy S22 GOS. We are continuously working to expand user options and provide optimal performance by collecting opinions from customers. The Samsung Galaxy S22 series ‘GOS (Game Optimizing Service) is preloaded with our app’ that optimizes CPU and GPU performance to prevent excessive heat during long game play. In order to meet the needs of various customers recently, we plan to implement a SW update that provides a performance priority option in the game booster lab within the game launcher app as soon as possible. We will continue to listen to consumers’ opinions and do our best for customer satisfaction and consumer protection.
thank you. ”
Source: Meeco forums (Korean), Naver, @GaryeonHan (via Twitter)
Via: Android Authority