How to Optimize your Android smartphone for peak performance

How to Optimize your Android smartphone for peak performance

Google’s Android operating system turns your smartphone into a powerhouse of functionality. It lets you add the functions and features that fit your lifestyle the best. The downside is all that can be a drain on resources, and that can result in lag.

There are steps you can take to optimize your Android smartphone to work better Performance.

Step #1: Pay attention to your smartphone
As you use your Android-powered phone, pay attention to its performance. Each phone has its strengths and weaknesses that you will identify over time. Once you do, you’ll have a better idea at what’s causing it to lag. For instance, if you add a specific app and notice your phone’s performing considerably different it’s a good hint that app’s a drain on your resources.

Step #2: Remove unwanted apps
We all do it. We get a smartphone, look through that list of terrific apps and start loading them on. Soon we have three apps for taking photos, two apps to send messages and a decent number of games. All of them takes up resources. The more storage space you take up and the more your phone’s running in the background, the worse your performance is going to be. Do some phone cleaning and go through your phone to determine what apps you use.

If there are apps you barely or never use, consider deleting them. That’s especially helpful if your storage space is nearly full. While you are at it, see if there are apps the phone came with that you really don’t use and see if you can delete them also. This may depend on your phone carrier as some include apps that you can’t delete as part of their package.

How to delete apps may differ depending on your phone. Often you can tap and hold an app until it blinks so you can uninstall it. If you have many you think you will delete, go to settings>apps to see which apps are using the most memory. Look for an option to click on your screen to disable these apps. If they are pre-loaded apps that you can’t delete, go to the next step and see if you can disable them.

Step #3: Disable apps
There may be apps that you see being useful “someday,” even if that day isn’t today. Instead of deleting them you can disable them. Once disabled you won’t see them pop up on your home screen or app screen, but you can always restart them later.

Step #4: Update apps
Developers are always working to improve their apps, and those updates in many cases may help your apps perform better and faster. It also fixes bugs that they catch and sometimes give your apps new features. Make sure to update your apps regularly so that you are using the most up-to-date versions of each app.

Step #5: Optimize Chrome
You can optimize Chrome to reduce how much data is sent to your smartphone. Open your chrome app and tap the Menu icon at the top right of your Chrome browser. Tap on “bandwidth management” and “reduce data usage.”

Step #6: Change sync settings
Sync may be one of the culprits if your phone’s lagging. It could be your smartphone syncing with email, contacts, photos or more. You can’t see this going on but it’s happening in the background and putting a strain on your phone.

One way to fix this is to simply turn off auto-sync, but you likely want things like your email to keep syncing. The other option is to check each app and see if there is a way you can increase the amount of time between each time it syncs. If there are apps syncing that you don’t need to sync, consider disabling sync on them.

Step #7: Limit use of widgets
Widgets that do tasks like tracking the weather can increase the functionality of your smartphone, but they also continuously run. That means they eat up resources. Limit how many apps you use for this reason.

Step #8: Change animation settings
You can’t deny that Android’s animations are just cool. That coolness costs you something, though. It costs resources.

So when you click on certain icons and see that something special happen on your screen, you’re trading off resources that could be used for something else. You can turn off the animations by going to developer settings by going to settings>about phone. Look for a label called “drawing” and you will find options for controlling your window, animator and transition animation scales.

Often these are marked “1X,” which means they will take about a second. You can turn these off or down to 0.5 X. That can make a huge difference when it comes to your phone’s speed.

Step #9: Factory reset your phone
Your phone can become bloated over time. A factory reset can clear this up by resetting your phone to settings it had when you got it. There’s a catch. Make sure all of your smartphone’s data is backed up to the cloud, your computer, a flash drive or an external drive first. Then and only then go to settings>backup and reset and choose “factory data reset.”

Step #10: Steer clear of live wallpapers
Just don’t do it no matter how cool Android’s live wallpaper feature is. Many live wallpapers take more CPU cycles to run and can drain your battery.

Step #11: Download a custom Android launcher
A custom launcher can give you a different home screen and app drawer than your operating system comes with. They may also have more options when it comes to customizing your smartphone to fit your needs. Nova Launcher is an example of a custom launcher.

Step #12: Change your phone’s brightness
The brighter your screen is, the more power you use. If you mostly use your phone indoors and do not need it as bright, consider turning down the brightness. Consider downloading an app like Lux Auto Brightness that changes the brightness of your screen to fit your environment.

Step #13: Limit notifications
Notifications can come in handy, letting you know about that latest Facebook post or email. However sometimes they can also be a resource hog. You can disable them by going to the apps section of your phone, finding the app sending the notification and unclicking “show notifications.”

If you follow these steps, you will free up memory and other resources, get more time out of each battery charge and boost your phone’s performance while you are at it.

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