Guest post: Optimise your Android phone or tablet for speed and battery life
In a world of high-speed internet usage and app processing you need your device to be as efficient as possible, and thanks to the flexibility of the Android platform speeding up your smartphone or tablet can be as easy as it is on a PC.
There are a variety of tweaks that can help the functionality of your device. While some users want to root in order to give more control for overclocking it is a risky procedure and could cause your device to malfunction, also known as "bricking" your phone.
We're not going to do anything so dangerous. Here are some safe ways you can optimise Android to perform with increased efficiency and battery life...
Disable GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
The GPS functionality is constantly updating information even if you're not going anywhere. Although this is a useful feature to have, it doesn't need to be running constantly. The same goes for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi networking. If you need extra power to your device, disable the GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. You can just as easily turn these back on when required.
By reverting your Android device back to factory settings, you clear any and all apps and background information. Although this will most definitely increase power to
your device, it will also remove everything you have done on your phone or tablet. It's like a fresh install of Windows, it runs liquid smooth because all of the junk you were running no longer exists. Just remember to backup your important texts, contacts and other data first!
Drop those special effects
Like Windows, if you disable the fancy graphic effects of the device, such as Live Wallpapers, your processor can put more effort into functionality instead of aesthetics. While these effects may be spectacular to look at, they are also taking power from your apps.
Many Android devices have a manufacturer customised UI with fancy extras, and switching these off can give a very noticeable improvement. For example, you'll notice the difference in performance on the Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4 if you disable the 'Multi-window' feature.
Have a clean up
Sometimes you may download an app that you don't necessarily want to keep but forgot to uninstall the title. Regularly going through the apps on your device (using the Settings > Applications menu) can help you keep the installed apps clean, reducing the chances of these constantly running in the background.
Close background tasks
Many of the apps you use throughout the day will constantly keep running until you close them directly or kill the app.
While you can go into your settings and "force stop" those programs, you can also download a manager that can help you do this automatically. Some will even set up schedules that will kill apps based on allotted times of day or inactive usage.
Recent versions of Android have a built-in task manager which allows you to close background apps with a quick swipe.
Do you have apps that automatically sync your data on the Internet? By disabling this feature, your Android device will no longer continuously keep track of synchronization, and this can have a huge positive benefit on battery life since it's not activating the data link as frequently. You will still be able to synchronize your data, you'll just need to do it manually instead of allowing the phone or tablet to continuously update.
To get started, try Juice Defender to extend battery life, and Tasker to automate almost any function of the phone. If you are a novice at using the device, it may be in your best interest to install one of these time-savers and let it do the work for you. Much like a computer, there are many ways you can keep your Android device running smoothly.
Between the apps you can download to keeping your tasks clear, you can increase your functionality without risking permanent damage to your phone or tablet.
This is a guest post by Liz Nelson from WhiteFence.com. She is a freelance writer and blogger from Houston. Questions and comments can be sent to: liznelson17 @ gmail.com.