Google reportedly blocking benchmarking apps on Pixel 8 phones

Originally published at: Google reportedly blocking benchmarking apps on Pixel 8 phones | Boing Boing


I would never bother posting about something as boring as phone benchmarks except as part of a story reporting terrible performance experienced by users. But reports of Google preventing reviewers and users from running the benchmarks at all? Up it goes. If the benchmarks are not legit, there is a PR problem. If the benchmarks are legit, there is a product problem.

If only more reporters were as rational as you. We can dream :sleeping:.

This is why I get much of my news from BoingBoing.


I just got a Pixel 8 yesterday and it does feel a bit slower, at least for some of the games I play, than the Pixel 6 it is replacing. Maybe I just haven’t tweaked it enough yet. I am not impressed by the battery longevity. Again, the phone probably needs some learning/tweaking.


I just replaced my 5 with a 7 and avoided the 8. My theory is that the battery life increase and performance gains in the 8 doesn’t translate because of the extra cycles it’s using for AI. They really made it sound like the phone was going to do some sort of LLM thing to every picture, text whatever. That’s why I didn’t get one.

Truth be told I don’t know what they’re doing, but I expect them to try it whether you like it or not, and that’s what the Pixel 8 pitch felt like.


Well, we know what they claim to be doing. Which is: making your photos look like you remember the situation to be, make the wind in videos sound like you remember it to sound, and do transcripts of spoken words with punctuation and all.

The “unusual move” which made Rob roll a headline for the company was on the horizon for quite some time. ML-optimised chip architecture does not compete with GPU and CPU brute force, and that company now has basically just ecided to brute force reviewers not even to TRY that competition.

The avalanche has already been started. It is to late for the silicon plebs to vote.

(Oh, BTW: noticed the news that the current Android version apparently is more efficient than the last one? Pixel users on Reddit are complaining they can’t warm their coffee on their phones any longer, e.g.)


Can it be side loaded? If not, it’s still not going to stop a developer from compiling from source with a retitled app. Only way Google might get around it is workload detection heuristics, but I doubt that they went that far.


Meanwhile, Niantic just dropped my Android 7.1.1 phone off the bottom of support for most of their games. No more Pokemon Go for me!

I suppose this will save Niantic a little effort on each QA/release cycle. :thinking: I can’t be arsed to fire up Android developer and check the active version distribution that Google sees. (They’ll never see my old Android 2.2 phone unless I patch the encryption certificates. Clever of them!)

I wonder if Google encourages companies to drop support for phones older than five years to boost new sales? In the past, I’ve had the impression that they update older hardware to destruction, but my old phone has 2GB ram and 8 cores, so maybe that’s a harder job now?


Dumb question from someone who is (obviously) totally out of the loop (due to only ever owning smartphones made by Apple): When Android was introduced, one of its supposed advantages was the fact that it’s based on Linux, which is open-source, giving owners greater ownership over their phones. How has Google taken away the phone owner’s ability to delete bloatware, to install whatever they want, etc.? Has this gotten worse, or was Android partially locked down since the start? Does the locking-down differ between different manufacturers of Android phones?


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