According to recent statistics, Google Play offers a whopping 1,483,774 apps to Android users. Out of these almost million and a half entries, 15% (approximately 222,566) are marked as "low quality". Today, we are taking you on a saunter through the Android garbage dump, the place where the worst of the worst apps thrive, luring unsuspecting users into their ad-infested, eye-offensive charades.
Thus, here are 10 types of Android apps you should never bother with, unless you are willing to waste your time with fictional promises, silly jokes, and unnecessary permission requests. Handle this list with care and humor.
10 types of Android apps you should absolutely avoid
10 types of Android apps you should absolutely avoid
1. Battery calibration apps
Battery calibration - sounds like something, alright! Where was this sacred technology when our walkman batteries kept dying in the middle of the moment? Answer - it never existed in the first place! There are exactly two things each and every of the tens of battery calibration apps on Google Play does. The first is to delete Android's batterystats.bin file as to force the system to regenerate it. The second is to make sure this functionality is sugar-coated in a pretty interface that looks attractive in screenshots. Not convinced? Here's Google engineer Dianne Hackborn tackling the matter to the ground back in 2012
2. Storage defragmenting apps
Today's Android devices are so much like portable computers that you'd be forgiven if you ever thought about defragmenting yours. You know, like your PC. Which, unless it's exclusively SSD-based, uses a completely different storage medium - the comparably slower, less efficient, but longer-lasting hard disk drive that's prone to slowing down from fragments of data randomly spreading across its plates. But the NAND flash storage of Android and SSD devices has a built-in controller with proprietary algorithms that work full-time to arrange data in beautiful, orderly chunks. It gets zero benefit from defragmenting
- in fact, defragging can only decrease its lifespan with thousands of wasted read/write cycles . So, next time you see an Android defrag app, just ignore it.
3. RAM boosting apps
An app to boost your RAM? You might as well try downloading more RAM
, it will accomplish the same results of very much nothing! RAM is extremely fast by design, and it will only get better with the new-generation LPDDR4 chips inside upcoming flagship devices. Android's logic exploits this opportunity. See, operating systems such as Windows (on PC) are about keeping as much free RAM memory as possible so programs always have some space to function. When it runs out of physical RAM, Windows goes as far as to resort to virtual memory - a page file dumped on your hard drive (slow!) or SSD (dandy!) that adds more artificial memory. Android is quite different - it's about utilizing the most of the available fast memory. Which means it keeps as many apps as possible loaded in RAM, and trusts a built-in handler, driven by an understanding that speed is critical to a good user experience, to efficiently distribute resources to apps and make sure low priority tasks aren't whisking too much quality time away from the processor. Point is, you don't need an app to optimize RAM - Android has been doing it for you since the Renaissance.
4. Mock antivirus apps
The tech media capitalizes on the overblown fear of Android malware like a small local newspaper with not much to write about makes double on shocking, scary news. In reality, you're 99% safe from attacks, as long as you source your applications from the Google Play store, avoiding shady apps, websites, and external app stores from non-reputable companies. It's not only the media, though - app developers are seeking their profits from the frenzy, too. Last year, Google famously dismissed the $4 scam app Virus Shield, which was seling one-tap malware protection until Android Police arrived on the scene
, blew apart its source code, and discovered that all the app does is change its cross icon to a tick icon on tap. There's also another app that asks users to pay for antivirus database updates - which you definitely aren't supposed to pay for! Point is, stay away from any mobile antivirus and malware tool that doesn't come from established companies such as AVG, Avast, Avira, Kaspersky, McAfee, Symantec, Quihoo and the like. There are enough good choices among those, so you don't have to seek apps from "the little guy".
5. Shake to charge apps
Look - your phone is not a dynamo. There's simply no way you can charge its battery by shaking it like a person possessed. You will only tire your arms and participate in a dumb joke. Stay away!
6. X-Ray scanners
Your smartphone doesn't have a built-in x-ray scanner either, although we suspect Samsung and Apple have pondered its addition at one point or another. And for better or worse, a typical smartphone camera doesn't have nearly what it takes to "emulate" an actual x-ray scanner. So, for the time being, x-ray scanner apps are no-go.
7. Lie detectors
A modern smartphone or tablet is a sensor and computing powerhouse, which doesn't mean someone working out of their home will throw in some scientifically complicated polygraphy and sensor reading algorithms inside a pretty app, then put it on Google Play for free, possibly with some unobtrusive banner ads. But thanks for asking!
8. Animal translator apps
Unless Qualcomm or Google develop, test, debug, release, and commercialize advanced animal voice recognition and interpretation solutions, your smartphone will never be able to tell you what Tom cat is trying to communicate with his urgent meowing. So don't try these apps on animals - they are smart enough to tell how much of a fool you're making out of yourself.
9. Internet booster apps
Unlike signal boosting apps
that are actually worth some spare processor cycles, time and testing has shown internet booster apps make a zero to none difference in your connection speed. At best, such apps are placebo. At worst, they are useless carbon copies of each other that differentiate themselves in the amount of ads they manage to fit on your screen - overlaying them on top of other apps you're running.
10. Useless apps
Actually, we love the useless apps on Android. Most of them are completely honest in revealing their uselessness to you, and are made with humor in mind. So we're giving them a pass, noting that you shouldn't waste your time with them, but reading their app descriptions can be more entertaining than a mid-afternoon 9gag browse. "This app has absolutely no use. Test it and you'll see that it's totally useless. Tens of Scientists of world reputation tried to find it a use but all their attempts ended of failures up to here." - LOL!