Sunday, December 28, 2014


Some handy advice on how to make your Android phone or tablet run faster.

Empty app cache
If you are reading this, I’m guessing that you already are having some problems with your Android device running a little slower than before when you first bought it. Another presumption is also that your device is running at least Android Jelly Bean. If you so happen to be one of these lucky people whose Android got upgraded to version 4.2 or anove, you’re in luck.

How: Go to the storage menu via the Settings. Look for the option Cached data, which should be right down the list, at second from bottom. Click on it, and a window pops up, asking, Clear cached data? Tap on OK.

Still using an older Android?
If you are still using a version of Android prior to 4.2, no worries, as you can always go into Google Play and look for those apps that can also clear app cache. Most of these apps are free, and one of the most popular is 1Tap Clean.

How: So simple to use, it can automatically clear cache when you open the app and it will exit the app after that. Or you can set it to auto clear all cache at some specific interval; or just certain apps that you know are guilty of retaining huge cache. If you are not sure which ones, you can list them by cache size or app. It can also clean up residual files.

Manage your device’s memory

Not only should you clear unwanted physical files and app cache in order to speed up your device. You should also manage and clear some memory. There are quite a number of such apps, some free as well. They work on the principle of defragmenting the hard drive or the SSD of the device, much like how you might defrag the hard drive of your computer.

How: With the computer, you are well advised to refrain from using it while the job is being run. With an Android phone, you can run the app and still use the device at the same time. Get those that do not require your device to have been rooted.

Remove or stop background apps
One thing annoying about Android is after you finished using an app and you closed it, it is still running (or waiting) in the background. This cannot be good when these apps are still using the phone’s system resources.

How: You can easily bring up the history panel, where you can see all the apps you last used. You can kill them or remove them from memory one by one. If there are too many, and deleting them one by one too tedious, just go to Google Play and look for those task killer apps.

Clean up unused apps
It is well and good that you should kill background apps. Another thing you should take into consideration is to ask yourself if you are still going to continue using this or that app, just because you downloaded them as they were offered for free for that week or day. You will be surprised how a good spring cleaning of these often unused apps can help make your Android run a little faster and also smoother.

How: Go to Settings again. Look for Applications, and Manage Applications. Tap on Downloaded app, and the Uninstall.

Get rid of cookies
This has got to do with your web browser. If you are often browsing for websites, you might sometimes find that they are opening up rather too slowly for your liking. This is time you go and check under the hood of the browser, to see if you have too many cookies residing there. Cookies are similar to apps, more like little programs that get installed into the browser after you visited some site. They have various agendas, one of which is to store your personal or visit details so that the website will remember them when you visit next. This will of course make browsing that site a little faster. However, if you install too many cookies and they fill up space or memory, you will be in trouble when you cannot save or store more files.

How: Just go to the Menu of the mobile browser and look for More Options and Settings. Tap on Privacy & Security. Tap on “Clear all cookie data”, and confirm your deletion. At the same time you might also want to tap of Clear cache, Clear history and Clear form data.

Remove unwanted shortcuts and widgets
Placing all these shortcuts and widgets into your home screens are convenient because they allow you direct access to apps or functions without having to tap more than once, like when you need to go to the apps page to look for the app you want. The only trouble is that every widget you use is taking up some valuable memory.

How: Find those shortcuts and widgets that you seldom tap on, and remove them by just long pressing on them and dragging them to the bin (or via some other method depending on the user interface of your device).

Disable data syncing
Is it really necessary for you to auto sync some of your apps, like Gmail, Facebook or Twitter? Most of the time such syncing will cause the app to ping the Internet at set times or intervals. This will eat up your phone’s system resources, which will in turn slow down your phone.

How: To disable all background data, go to Settings as usual. Tap on Data usage. Inside this, display the context menu by tapping on the three vertical dots. This will bring up a few options. Un-tick the box for Auto-sync data. You might also have to do the same for some Google services. Go to Settings again, and at Account, look for Google. Then look for your Google account for which you want to remove syncing. Tap to toggle it to Off if its syncing was turned on. For other apps, like Facebook, go into their settings and look for any option to update manually or stop update.

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