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Samsung fesses up to throttling, but says non-gaming apps weren't affected

Update: Samsung has issued a statement to Android Authority following a throttling controversy this week.
By
March 4, 2022
Samsung Game Optimizing Service
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Samsung confirmed that it uses the GOS service to “optimize” CPU and GPU performance.
  • It said that a software update will bring a performance priority option in the Game Launcher app.
  • The company told us that GOS doesn’t manage the performance of non-gaming apps.

Update: March 4, 2022 (12:02 PM ET): Samsung has now issued a statement to Android Authority regarding the throttling controversy:

Our priority is to deliver the best mobile experience for consumers. The Game Optimizing Service (GOS) has been designed to help game apps achieve a great performance while managing device temperature effectively. GOS does not manage the performance of non-gaming apps. We value the feedback we receive about our products and after careful consideration, we plan to roll out a software update soon so users can control the performance while running game apps.

The company indeed clarified to us that the Game Launcher app will be updated to offer a performance option in the Game Booster Labs section. We also asked Samsung if the list of 10,000 affected apps was legitimate (which included non-gaming apps too), but the company reiterated that GOS “does not limit CPU/GPU or display resolution” for non-gaming apps.

Original article: March 3, 2022 (11:51 AM ET): Samsung was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons yesterday when it emerged that the company could be throttling the performance of thousands of apps on its smartphones.

A list of 10,000 affected apps was posted online, with claims that Samsung was using its Game Optimizing Service (GOS) to facilitate throttling in these programs. Now, the Korean manufacturer has responded to the allegations, seemingly confirming the behavior and saying that changes were afoot.

“The GOS of the Samsung Galaxy S22 series is preloaded with our app that optimizes CPU and GPU performance to prevent excessive heat during long gameplay,” read an excerpt of a machine-translated notice posted by Samsung on its Members app (h/t: TechM and Dohyun Kim on Twitter).

How will Samsung change things?

“In order to meet the needs (sic), the Game Booster lab in the Game Launcher app will soon implement a software update that provides a performance priority option.”

In other words, it sounds like Samsung will be implementing a performance mode in the Game Launcher and Game Booster on the Galaxy S22 series. We’re guessing this will come to other affected phones too.

Crucially, the company doesn’t address the fact that benchmark apps were missing from the list and therefore not subjected to the same throttling restrictions. The exclusion of benchmark apps meant that you’d get results that were completely at odds with the real-world experience.