How to improve Android's performance
A lot of people say that the beauty of Android is in its open nature, allowing you to personalize almost each and every aspect of the system. However, Android's open nature may also be seen as one of its weaknesses, as there are certain scenarios where the system can be treating consumers to a sub-par experience due to lack of enough processing time or memory. Most of those who can afford a top-notch flagship smartphone usually end up with a mostly smooth and snappy interface, but we all know that as our phones age, the tons of software and content that go through them each and every day eventually bog them down.
At some point, essential apps like the phonebook or the camera start to exhibit annoying long loading times, while browsing through the many homescreen pages filled with apps, directories and widgets just doesn't feel as fluid and snappy as it used to be. Well, good news is there are many things you can do in order to improve the performance of your Android device. Below, we're presenting you with a fine selection of tips on how to speed your trusty phone or tablet up, and while there can be no guarantee that you'll reach the desired level of performance, we think you should definitely try these out, before considering the decision to move on to a new device.
So, here's what you can do in order to improve your Android's performance!
While we techies have the innate habit of checking for a new software update for our phones at least a few times a week, most smartphone users actually don't pay that much attention whether or not they are running the latest software available. That's why we need to get this out of the way first - if you aren't perfectly content with the performance of your Android phone (and if you're reading this, it means that you probably aren't), do yourself a favor and make sure that you have the latest software update installed. These can usually be found in Settings, in or near the About menu. Software updates usually contain bug-fixes and other improvements that can enhance the device's performance, and the same goes for any third-party apps you may be using.
Many users have the habit of keeping a needlessly large number of apps installed on their phones, without realizing that this may slow the device's operation down. Well, it can! Anything that you install on your phone has the potential of taking up precious resources, so if you feel that things are starting to get a bit sluggish lately, then it'd be totally worth it to consider getting rid of those apps that are just sitting there unused. The same goes for media content that's taking up a lot of storage space - no computing device likes to operate with scarce amounts of free storage space available, so it might be wise to remove content that you're no longer using in order to allow your device some breathing space.
So, you can easily get rid of third-party apps that you have installed, but what about the stock apps (or bloatware) that you can't just uninstall? Well, there is a way to disable some or most of that unneeded stuff (which we totally recommend). Here's our guide that will show you how this is done, and note that you don't even need to have your device rooted for this to work. Farewell, bloatware apps, you shall no longer... um, bloat our devices!
You may have noticed that some apps tend to be especially sticky compared to others, with regards to their operation in the background (that's when you're not currently using the app, but it's still running). Some of these tend to remain active in your notification area, leave icons in the status bar, and more. The good news is that some of these sticky apps tend to have a dedicated Exit button - so, don't be sloppy - take advantage of this button and quit these apps after you've finished your business with them. This way, you'll prevent them from being active in the background, consuming system resources that could have gone towards a more fluid operation of the system, for example.
Live wallpapers, although cool, are usually resource hogs that can visibly slow your device down. If you have a live wallpaper active on your Android phone or tablet, and you don't think you're getting the number of frames per second that you deserve, simply get rid of it, and switch to a static image. This should improve both your performance and battery life.
While it's easy to part ways with a live wallpaper, we know this usually isn't the case when it comes to widgets. Still, it'll definitely help if you keep those to a minimum - having a lot of complex widgets on your homescreen, especially such that auto-update their content on the fly, is a recipe for poor performance.
Some apps are written in a more intelligent way than others, and this has an effect on their resource management. Simply put, if you're using a third-party app for a particular purpose, and there are alternative apps available, it's worth checking if some of those alternatives won't work/perform better than the one you're currently using. This may improve things both in and out of the app.
Some stock launchers are simply slow, and no matter what optimizations you make, they remain slow, laggy, and choppy. That's when you know it's time for you to explore the options of installing a third-party launcher from the Play Store. Some of the better ones, like Apex and Nova, come with snappier performance than what some stock launchers offer. Here's a curated collection of some great Android launchers that you can take a look at.
If you're using a microSD card with your Android phone, make sure that it's a high-speed one. Go for quality Class 10 microSD cards, as those will give you the best performance. Still, before making a purchase, you should just test your phone without the microSD card and see if that brings any improvement to its performance. If it does, then you may consider switching to a faster card.
Sometimes, after long periods of heavy usage, such as half a year or a year, things get so cluttered that the best way to improve performance is to just start over from a clean state. If none of the tips above help to a sufficient degree, going for the factory reset may be your last-ditch effort of breathing life back into your device. Just remember to back-up all important information before you initiate the procedure.
A lot of people will say that rooting and modding your device can help you improve its performance. Well, this may certainly help, but only if you really know what you're doing and why. Rooting and installing custom ROMs just for the sake of it will hardly produce effective results. However, installing custom ROMs may be especially beneficial with older devices, whose software support has been ceased. In any case, it's important to plan your way back to the stock firmware prior to installing a custom ROM, should you later change your mind. Be smart and do all the reading and researching before flashing your phone!