The fact that the Smartphone’s hardware components are quickly becoming more and more capable means nothing at the moment, because it will never be possible to utilize them with their maximum potential without the right software. Currently, the issue on how to successfully optimize both the software and the hardware to provide fast and seamless user experience is the main obstacle.
Probably the optimization of both software and hardware will be most tangible for Smartphone users mostly because currently in this fast revolving society everyone is quickly becoming impatient and frustrated even if the Smartphone shows a little sign of lag, slowing down or similar problem that is inhibiting the productivity of the device.
In case your Android Smartphone is slowing down you should know that there are several reasons that may contribute for this and in majority of the cases it takes some time of active use of your device before they become noticeable.
If you have slowing down problems on your Android device here are some suggestions on what you need to do in order to improve the situation:
Download and install third party app launcher
The OS on the majority of Android devices is being customized by their manufacturers with special skins, ULs or launchers that boast widgets, different layouts as well as other custom features. Even though these additions and customizations may feel fun and you may get the impression that they are useful, eventually they may cause the slowdown of your Android Smartphone.
One simple solution for this issue is to download and install a third party app launcher (we are talking about something that is much more simple that rooting or installing a custom ROM on the device) that will remove the majority of the custom features and will enable personalization options. Some of the best app launchers which you can find in the Google Store are “’GO Launcher EX”, “Apex Launcher “or “Nova Launcher”.
Delete some apps, widgets or wallpapers
If you have a lot of apps on your device then perhaps it is time to remove some of them. Just check and see for yourself which apps you use the least and get rid of them. Note that some apps are impossible to uninstall and you will have to settle for disable only.
Having a lot of live wallpapers and widgets on home screens can also contribute for your device slowing down and may affect the overall performance. You should use static wallpapers and remove any non important widgets.
Check Sync apps and turn off non important background processes
Some apps may launch with the phone while some others are constantly syncing with online services and in this way both can really affect the performance of your Smartphone. If you wish to check which apps are running in the background go to Settings-Apps and select the Running tab. If you see an app running in the background which is being used then you should either disable or uninstall it in case the app cannot be permanently removed.
Also see here How to Improve Battery Live on Android Phone.
You should also check for apps that may be syncing in the background and see if they are somehow beneficial. If they are not, just disable the synchronization to save data and system resources. To disable the synchronization go to SettingsàData usage and scroll down thru the list of apps to see which ones are using data.
It is up to the users to decide if they want to turn of the synchronization from each individual app or visit the “data usage” menu where there is the “auto sync data” option and turn it off from there.
If you want to disable Google apps or services, you should go to Settings-Accounts-Google-UserProfile. You can turn of the sync settings for each Google app or service.
A highly recommended app for Android users I the Advanced Task Killer which enables the users to kill any app that is occupying to much RAM memory or is slowing the device.
Clean up the app cache
The excessive use of some apps will cause their cache to be built up and eventually this may cause your Android phone to be slower. By simply emptying the app cache on regular basis you will manage to speed up your device a bit. However, note that you will have to do this on a regular basis because the apps will start to fill in the cache right from the moment they are started. If you wish to individually delete each app’s cache go to Settings-Apps and select the app and after that tap on “Clear Cache”.
To empty the cache on several apps at once or to schedule a cache clearing you can download the “App Cache Cleaner” app from the Play store. This app will help you delete the cache for several apps at once and will also enable you to set up a schedule for regular cache clearing. Of course, you can also delete the cache data for all apps directly from your Android native option by going to Settings-Storage – Cached Data.
Turn of Animations
Animations use system resources to be generated and this happens quite often when navigating thru your Smartphone. They have no exact purpose besides providing more beautiful smartphones experience. If you find that your device is reacting more slowly then perhaps it is time to disable them off.
However, you should have in mind that disabling the animations is not an easy task. The disable option in most of the cases is hidden in the “Developers Option” section. To access this section first you need to go to Settings – System – About Phone and from there you can find the “Build Number” of your device. Tap on Build Number seven times and in the system menu will be shown “Developers Options”. From here you can disable all types of animation. However be careful not to disable any other option from this section.
Clean up the built in storage
Your device will really slow down if you allow the built in storage to go full. You must enable around ten to twenty percent of the total built in storage to be free if you want to prevent the slowing down of your device. One simple solution is to delete all the unused apps and clear the cache data to save space, however it is better to go with amore ideal long term solution. Luckily most of the smartphones have the option to expand built in storage thru a MicroSD card.
If your Smartphone has MicroSD card storage expandability, then by simply moving all of your media to it will do the job. Note that you can also move apps from the internal storage to the SD card. You can do this by go to App’s Settings-App and then go to the individual apps. The older Android smartphones do not support this feature and you will need to download the app “Apps to SD card” from the Google Play store.
On time Update of your Smartphone Firmware
Even though some updates may have negative effects, still by default every firmware update for a Smartphone is expected to bring many improvements of different kind, including performance optimizations. Those who have problem with the overall performance experience on their Android devices should check if there is a new firmware update released.
To check for new updates simply go to Settings-System-About-Software Updates and see if there is an update available. If there is nothing displayed there you can also check for updates by connecting your Android device to your PC suite software provided by the manufacturer.
Even though it is not required to back up your Smartphone when updating, still it is recommended that you do it in case something goes wrong.
Install Custom ROM, Root your device
Before we begin note that this method is not recommended to anyone but a power user. With the user installing a custom ROM that is lighter and less resource intensive than the manufacturer customized UI and firmware often the issue of a slow Android device is resolved.
This method is kinda the same as installing a third party app launcher, but with a much wider effect, because it replaces all the software found on the Android device.
Online, you can find several guides and tutorials on how to root your Android device, and install custom ROMs from a database of independently developed firmware.
One of the best is of course the XDA Developers Forum, and it is recommended that you read all the instructions and discussion about the specific custom ROM and their particular ROM before proceeding. You can also find some easy installation and walkthrough tools for ROMs on the CyanogenMod’s website.
Remember that to root your Android device or to install custom ROM is very complicated as well as very risky and you may end up with losing all the data on your device or even worse you may brick it. In addition, rooting or flashing your Android device will automatically void the manufacturer’s warranty.
Solid State drives for storage needs by default are used in the current Smartphone devices. However an inherent flaw with these storage devices is that when some data is deleted from the flash memory cells, it is required to completely wipe the cells before you can use them for a new write process. In order to do this, the OS must issue a TRIM command to the drive to determine which cells are unused and need to be wiped.
Some rumors claim that Google has managed to fix this issue in Android 4. Or newer version, however for those of you who still run older Android version, there is a solution which will enable you to issue TRIM command to the SSD.
In order to do so, you will be required to root your Smartphone and install Lag Fix from the play store. However, I will say it one more time, rooting smartphones is very complicated task and it is recommended that you take extra caution.
If you have new ideas or methods that may our users may find them useful keep us updated in the comment section.