Fix Lag in Apps on the Galaxy Nexus with Ice Cream Sandwich [How To]

by: Carl ParkerJanuary 7, 2012
7 38 4

The Galaxy Nexus paired with Ice Cream Sandwich? Sounds like a match made in heaven. On their own, these two treats boast a variety of things. The Galaxy Nexus is the most recent Android power phone. Often called the phone of the year, the Galaxy Nexus boasts an amazing 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED display and a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor with 1 GB RAM. Ice Cream Sandwich is the latest and the greatest version of the Android platform for phones, tablets, and more. With an intuitive user interface, you can navigate easily and can organize your daily activities using its many apps.

For those of you who communicate frequently using your devices, Ice Cream Sandwich also boasts a satisfyingly accurate keyboard and word predictions. It is designed to work without physical buttons, which only seems fitting that Ice Cream Sandwich has found its way into the Galaxy Nexus. But, not all beautiful things are perfect.

The Galaxy Nexus is the first phone on the market equipped with Ice Cream Sandwich right from the start. It is certainly something extremely exciting to veteran Android users who have had to wait patiently for every new update. Once you start playing around with it, however, you’ll notice something very wrong. Once of the biggest catches to the Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich marriage is the poor performance of apps. There is a lag so noticeable that scrolling is a nightmare.

Currently, there is no perfect cure for this problem, but there is a way to slightly improve it. The beauty of this is that you will not need cables, software, or any flashing to deal with it. The solution is right within your device.

Here’s the quick trick to making your apps run and perform faster on the Galaxy Nexus:

  1. Slide down the Notifications bar.
  2. Tap “Settings”.
  3. In the Settings menu, tap “Developer Options”.
  4. Scroll down the list of options and tap on “Force GPU rendering”.
  5. Afterwards, kill all of your apps in the multitasking tray by flicking them off the screen or by restarting your device

Once you’re done, you’ll notice that the Galaxy Nexus will perform a little better, with a slight minimization in its lag. One possible cause of the lag is that some apps are not yet ready to run on Ice Cream Sandwich. If you run an app that fully supports Ice Cream Sandwich, however, you may not notice any performance problems.

Hopefully, future updates for Ice Cream Sandwich will bear good news for this little Galaxy Nexus disappointment, but until then, we hope that this quick fix works for you.

  • ed

    Guess im lucky, i have yet to see any real lag on any apps and i have about 60 non built in apps installed. Or maybe i just dont notice it.

    • Andy_kjm

      If you’re not seeing it, you haven’t used an iPhone or a WP7…

  • hsl

    If “Force GPU rendering” improve the performance of an apps means the app is not optimize for 4.0 yet.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if this setting consumes more power.

  • Gazukpr

    I did it to my Verizon Nexus and slowed down my live wallpaper. I went back and is working fine. Never noticed slow apps only sometimes loses conductivity to the network.

  • Didn’t noticed any kind of lag with most apps and if it happenes it’s because of a bad programmed app so get rid of it and choose a better app. For most apps there are multiple other great competitors.

    This setting itself might be critical, especially for people who don’t know what they do or might forget they switched it on later. If a software runs well with gpu rendering and profitates from it the developer can turn it on himself with just one line of code. But there are also apps who doesn’t run with GPU rendering yet and they will crash when you force it.

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  • Hedaleth

    Unfortunately, this “fix” causes a number of other apps to malfunction. It may be that those apps are not yet ready for ICS, but in any event, I can’t use the fix.

  • I wouldn’t use this option. Some apps are optimized for dual core CPUs and by forcing this option, you’re most likely disabling these optimizations that are in place. I would just leave things the way they are. ICS is new, not every developer is rushing out to support it yet.

  • Anonymous

    Turning this on caused 1 of my developer apps to go super tiny! The whole screen was only like a cm tall! It was just a standard configuration screen for a widget, nothing special at all.

  • Anonymous

    One of the major reasons “Force GPU Rendering” causes problems is functions that are simply not implemented yet in the hardware rendering engine. That’s why my own app doesn’t work with this enabled. It’s in the developer options section for a reason. If you are not a developer testing an app, please do not enable this option.

  • Andy_kjm

    Lag…the one thing that drove me away from android.

  • Karolina

    this made things smoother for me. no problems with any apps, but I only use a few appearance customizing ones and then photo editing stuff.