Samsung may be throttling apps to save battery life on Galaxy phones

The company says it is looking into reports.


Samsung is looking into reports that it has been limiting the performance of a large number of apps on some Galaxy smartphones, Android Authority has reported. It has reportedly been using something called the Game Optimizing Service (GOS) to throttle up to 10,000 apps (likely to save battery life), including many that have nothing to do with gaming like Netflix, TikTok and Microsoft Office.

Making the optics worse is the fact that it's not throttling benchmark apps like 3DMark, GeekBench 5 and PCMark, so you'd see no problem with your device if you ran one of those. Samsung is apparently aware of the issue and is investigating it, according to Android Authority, although it hasn't officially confirmed that yet.

The throttling was spotted by Korean users who posted a list of 10,000 apps that are apparently affected. Since the problem was revealed, Samsung's Korean forums have exploded with complaints from users about the GOS issue. "I paid a lot of money to buy a sports car that can go up to 300 km/h, but for safety reasons, I put a speed limit on it so that it can run only 150 km/h," noted one user sarcastically.

In one case, a user took the popular 3DMark benchmark app and renamed it to an app called Genshin Impact that's on the throttled list. After renaming, 3DMark ran with a score less than half of what it ran with the correct name. The GOS app was present on some smartphones like the Galaxy S21 Plus and could not be disabled, but not others like the new Galaxy S22 series, according to Android Authority.

OnePlus recently admitted throttling apps with its latest smartphones in order to save battery life, prompting Geekbench to delist the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro from its Android Benchmark chart. After being called out, it tweaked the settings in order to match each app's performance requirements with the appropriate power required.