Here's a familiar experience: you buy the fastest Android smartphone you can find and, at first, it lives up to your expectations. In addition to looking and feeling stylish, it's blazing fast with any task you throw at it.
However, a few months or maybe a year down the road and things aren't as sparkly as they were. Besides the physical aging where your once squeaky clean gadget is now riddled with scratches, booting takes forever, transitions between screens isn't seamless anymore, and not even the basic apps run smoothly.
When this happens, don't stress yourself. It's normal for any computer, big or small, to grow slower over time. Although this might prompt you to start thinking of buying a new phone, you could save the money and your gadget by performing a few tricks.
Below, we look at some of the best measures you can take to push your slow handset further and perhaps even regain its lost glory.
If you're an active smartphone user, you probably have your app drawer flooded with all sorts of applications. And while some are essential, it's likely that you haven't used a good number of them since the day you installed.
Having too many apps won't be a problem if your phone has ample storage, but if not, space conservation is critical. Additionally, some of these unnecessary apps might be running in the background, hogging limited resources.
Getting rid of dispensable programs is, therefore, the smart way to go. Go to Applications in the Settings menu, or simply long-press on the unwanted app and drag it to the "Uninstall" button at the top or bottom of the screen.
Some pre-installed programs and bloatware won't give you the option to uninstall them completely, but disabling them will render them inactive and free up some RAM.
Besides useless apps, you might have too much music, videos, and other files filling up your phone's memory. A squeezed internal storage capacity can affect performance, so try and keep a healthy amount of free space by deleting old or nonessential files.
To free up some more space, go through your frequently used applications and clear cache data.
Don't know what cache data is? Well, this is the information an app saves on an active memory space so that it can quickly be retrieved when needed. In other words, cache speeds up your device by decreasing an app's loading times.
However, cache data often builds up and gets old over time, eventually choking up your storage.
Among the reasons users love Android, is the flexibility it offers when personalizing the interface. Live wallpapers and widgets are, therefore, some of the cool features that come with owning an Android device. That said, having them in prolonged use can negatively impact battery life and slow your device.
Live wallpapers and data-intensive widgets like Facebook always occupy part of your RAM, leaving less space for newly-launched applications. The same goes for animations, such as screen transitions and icon shadowing. But although you can easily remove a live wallpaper and a widget, disabling stock animations will require you to unlock Developer Options on your Settings App.
Software updates aren't always about new features. In fact, manufacturers often use OTA upgrades to fix bugs, improve security and enhance performance. An update will often cure a slow and aging device.
It's imperative to ensure your smartphone is running the latest version of Android available at all times. In most cases, a new update will appear as a notification, but you can trigger a manual search in Settings, every once in awhile.
As a measure of last resort, consider reverting your phone to factory conditions. The process will involve creating either an offline or a cloud backup of your vital data and triggering a complete reset of the OS. After resetting, the memory is left clean, and the software the way it was when you bought the phone.
The idea of doing a reset is to give your gadget the fresh start it desperately needs. When your phone boots back up, everything will be fast and smooth again. You can then start employing good app and storage management practices to push the next reset date far into the future.
Mobile phones are practically mini-computers. And just like their larger counterparts, slouching will start showing sooner or later.
Sure, the more high-end smartphones on the market will give you more time, but after a while, even they won't be as quick as they first were. Nevertheless, the above tips will help prolong the life of your device by keeping it fast and reliable, despite its age.