As with any other desktop or mobile operating system, the performance of your Android OS will start to diminish after you use it for some time. Mobile operating systems are supposed to be lighter and faster to keep up with our need to be on the move, yet still give us access to everything. Want to have the best of both worlds? Then it’s time to do some housekeeping.
If you have noticed that your Android phone’s performance has been slowing down, particularly after you’ve been loading it up with tons of Android apps (we don’t blame you) from the Google Play store, we have a few tips to share with you.
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With just a few tweaks and changes, you’d probably be able to breathe life into your Android, specifically those that have been updated to Android 4.0 and above.
1. Know Your Device
It is important to learn about the capabilities and drawbacks of your phone. Do not overburden your phone with resource-hungry apps that could degrade your phone’s performance at your expense.
2. Update Your Android
If you haven’t updated your Android phone to the latest firmware, you should do so. Google brings great improvements to each new release of the Android operating system, including updates that ensure stability, higher performance speed, and connectivity, along with other user-friendly new features.
Tablets can also run on ICS and Jelly Bean now. You should be able to update it until Android 4.1 Jelly Bean via System updates (Check under ‘About phone’).
3. Remove Unwanted Apps
Every app you install on your phone takes up storage space and runs background processes, which adds to the data usage. The more storage space occupied or the more background processes running on your phone, the slower your phone’s performance will be.
Do not install apps that you hardly use. Keep only the apps that you need, and if you have an app that is not useful, you can uninstall or disable it.
4. Disable Unnecessary Apps
‘Performance assistant’ was introduced in Android ICS to help you disable apps that you don’t need. Disabling apps is different from uninstalling apps Ã¢ÂÂ uninstallation removes application files from the phone, but no file is removed/deleted when you disable it. These disabled apps are not shown on the home screen or app tray, but you can re-enable them for use whenever you need them.
5. Update Apps
You should regularly update the apps installed on your phone from Google Play. Try to get updates for your apps as soon as they become available on Google Play. Developers fix bugs and add new features in the latest versions of apps. Updated apps perform better and faster, and are less likely to crash your phone.
6. Use a High-Speed Memory Card
The memory card is the storage space of your phone. Phones with low internal memory can benefit from high-capacity memory cards to maximize storage space. However, it not only increases capacity but also enhances speed. You can obtain between 2GB to 32GB of storage space to support high-speed read/write operations. Always opt for memory cards of Class 6 or Class 10 for your Android phone if you want to improve its performance.
7. Keep Fewer Widgets
Widgets are not apps, which only run once you choose to activate them. Instead, widgets are always running in the background; they are active all the time. While some Android users use them to keep track of the weather and important dates, others use widgets like ‘Extended controls’ for quick access to essential configurations such as switching Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or GPS on or off.
They do have their uses, but bear in mind that having too many of them running on your homescreen will cause your device’s performance to slow down.
8. Avoid Live Wallpapers
You may love Android’s live wallpaper feature, but it’s important to note that poorly made live wallpapers can drain your battery faster by requiring more CPU cycles to run. Every time you activate your home screen, you not only run your apps but also your live wallpaper. Different manufacturers offer various live wallpapers, so be mindful of their impact on your device’s battery life.
9. Stop Syncing
Sync is a great feature that synchronizes your data with Google servers. By keeping sync on, you can receive notifications whenever new mail arrives or when you receive new notifications or updates for apps. However, it refreshes at every preset interval (e.g. it checks your mail every 5 minutes for new incoming mail), which can affect your Android’s performance for other activities.
You can turn off Sync for unnecessary services or only turn it on when you need to transfer or upload materials to Google servers.
10. Turn Off Animations
What animations? Well, if you haven’t noticed, your phone screen actually fades out and in as you switch from one task to another. To see this in action, go to Settings > Developer Options > Window Animation Scale > Animation Scale 10x. Then choose Window Animation Scale again to see the fade-in effect in ‘slow-mo’.
When you choose Animation Off, the screen just snaps to position without animation. You can also turn off Transition Animation Scale in the same way. If you are a heavy user, you would probably notice that your Android performs faster with all animations off.
Use a Task Killer/Manager
Download any free Task Killer apps or Task Managers from Google Play. Some of the good ones are Advanced Task Killer and Super Task Killer Free. Use a task killer to terminate background processes and other apps that you don’t need or use.
Set options to automatically kill unnecessary apps (based on your selections) after a set period of time. Some examples include Update Manager (updates don’t come every minute/hour) or any manufacturer-installed app that you don’t require.
Root Your Android
As Android is built on the Linux kernel, like any other operating system, it can also be rooted. Rooting your Android gives you administrator-level access on your phone, which means that you can uninstall the apps that came with your phone but may not be what you want to use.
You can then flash it with custom ROMs that may be a better fit for your job requirements or personality, or to enhance the performance and battery life of your phone. You can even update your phone to the latest OS or updates that could otherwise be unsupported for your phone model.
When Not to Root
There are a number of factors against rooting your Android device; for one thing, most manufacturers deem your phone warranty voided if your phone has been rooted. You also need to know what you are doing to avoid screwing everything up beyond repair. This is called ‘bricking,’ a.k.a. turning your phone into a useless brick. So think it through before you use this method to enhance the performance of your Android.
Use Lightweight Background Apps
Everyone enjoys listening to music, but imagine how much memory the music player app requires to play a whole album for you. The same goes for other types of background apps you may have. To avoid this, use lightweight apps for these purposes. For example, you can install a music player that requires only 1 MB of installation space (and thus less RAM too) than the ones requiring 10 MB or more.
This way, your phone will have more free memory, which will boost your phone’s battery life and performance.
If you follow the above-given suggestions, tips, and tweaks, they will help make your Android faster and smoother while in use. Do you have any other Android-related performance-enhancing tips and tricks? Let us know.
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