Android phones have a habit of getting bogged down after 6 to 12 months of use (or do they?). A phone that was once a speed demon starts to feel a bit sluggish; apps don’t load as quickly, the keyboard takes a while to pop up, and animations become laggy. Many people put this down to the realities of their phone getting older, and start thinking about upgrading to something new.
But before you hand over some hard-earned cash for a new smartphone, there are some things that can be done to speed up your phone experience, and some things that do utterly nothing.
What Doesn’t Work
Clearing apps from the app switcher
Some people seem to think if they clear the apps from the app switching screen, which shows the apps you’ve been recently using, that this will free up system resources like RAM. However it’s no longer 2008: Android has been managing RAM usage and system resources extremely well for years now. The OS automatically suspends and closes apps you’re not using, freeing up RAM for whatever apps you are using. The process requires no user intervention and consistently works away in the background.
Uninstalling and/or disabling junk apps
Many Android apps like to run background processes. The more apps you have installed on your smartphone, the more background processes you’ll likely be running. Background processes consume CPU cycles, potentially slowing your phone down and reducing its battery life.
One way to make your phone feel faster to use is to remove all system animations. You’d be surprised how much of a difference this makes, as many phones use long and attractive animations to improve the visual feel of their software implementation. Speed demons will want to remove these animations to make loading apps and screens feel faster.
Free up storage space
If you’re running low on internal storage space, your phone can start to slow down as flash storage performance typically degrades when the storage approaches capacity. And flash storage performance can be the biggest limiting factor in how fast apps load, and how fast your phone is in general.
Use a fast microSD card
Installing apps on your microSD card is a bad idea, and almost always leads to a slower experience. But sometimes apps themselves store data on the microSD card automatically, rather than on your phone’s faster internal storage. To speed up these apps, you should install a fast microSD card in your phone if you wish to expand its storage.
This tip is straightforward. Home screen widgets can hog system resources and keep apps open in the background. If you have a ton of widgets, remove them and you should see better performance in some circumstances.
Use Chrome’s Data Saver mode
This is a tip that can not only speed up your phone, but also save you valuable mobile data. Chrome’s Data Saver mode compresses web pages by approximately 30 percent, reducing web page loading times on slow connections, especially on handsets with fast processors. It’s a handy feature to enable if you use Chrome as your main web browser.