User solves Pixel performance issues by disabling one of the latest Android features
There seems to be a discrepancy between Pixel users as many have complained that their phones aren’t as fast and responsive as they should be considering the high-end hardware and “clean” Android operating system. Some were pointing fingers at the low amount of RAM the latest Pixels have, but it seems that’s not the main culprit for the disappointing experience.
One user, part of Google Pixel’s Reddit community decided to take matters into his own hands and find what’s slowing down his beloved smartphone. And he did.
Digital wellbeing can lead to digital frustration
The user, Trueray17, posted a thread on the Pixel subreddit to share his findings. Initially, he tried all the usual steps often suggested to cleanse your phone from bad influences: factory resets, app removal and so on. He then deduced that the reason must lie within the core software of the Pixel as the issue inevitably reappeared. Eventually, he set his sights on Digital Wellbeing, a feature Google introduced with Android 9 to help people manage better the time they spend on their phones. After turning off Digital Wellbeing’s usage access he noticed an immediate improvement in the phone’s performance.
What’s even better, as a diligent community member, he made a how-to video showing you exactly where to go to turn off said setting. Here it is:
It takes literally seconds to try it and involves no risk whatsoever to your device, so if you’re experiencing any sluggishness on your Pixel device there’s literally no reason not to. We can’t confirm if it really works since our Pixel 3 is working well as is. However, multiple users are reporting in the Reddit thread that they've tried it and there is indeed a noticeable change in performance after Digital Wellbeing is disabled.
Some of the commenters happy with the newfound speed of their phones are using older Pixels, such as the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, so if you’re in the same boat, it won't hurt to give it a try as well.
Digital Wellbeing is not exactly a vital service for most people either, so it’s not like users have to sacrifice a lot to get the performance they deserve. Of course, there shouldn’t have been an issue in the first place, but hopefully, now that the problem is well-known Google might look into it and figure out why some devices are affected by it while others aren’t.
Adaptive battery causing battery drain?
Within the same Reddit thread, users are suggesting that the Adaptive battery feature on their Pixels was causing problems as well and disabling it actually improved the battery life of their phones. Battery life is quite subjective so take this with a grain of salt, but if think you’re experiencing sub-par battery performance on your Pixel, thеn it’s worth disabling Adaptive battery for a while to see if you’ll notice any difference.
Ironically, Adaptive battery’s sole purpose is to improve your battery life by utilizing AI to detect your app usage patterns and determine which apps can be given resource priority and which can be killed off in the background.
The common thing between Digital Wellbeing and Adaptive battery is that both need to run alongside the apps you’re using to gather the data needed for them to work. These additional processes seem to be the cause of the performance issues some users are experiencing. Hopefully, Google will iron out these problems with the upcoming versions of Android.
If you’ve tried disabling any or both of these features and saw an improvement in your Pixel, let us know in the comments below!