If you’ve spent a hefty chunk of change on a smartphone, then you probably want to have the best performance possible. And you might think that the easiest way to do that is to leave your phone alone as much as possible. After all, isn’t an Android already optimised for performance when it leaves the factory? Sadly, for many reasons, this isn’t the case. In fact, there are plenty of ways that you can get better performance out of your Android. Ready to get lightning fast speeds and a super responsive phone? Then here are the tweaks that you need to make.
Dump the Apps
The first step is a very simple one. Uninstall all the apps that you don’t use. No, really, go ahead. A recent study found that over a quarter of users download an app only never to open after initialisation, so we’re willing to bet that a good few are taking up space that you don’t need. You might also want to take a peek at your battery usage and storage usage and find out which apps are being power and memory greedy. Delete those too if you can (and look for more slimline alternatives if you can’t).
Done? But wait, we’re kind of sure that there are a few more apps in that app drawer that you’re not using. What’s that you say? There’s no uninstall button? Ah, yes, many phones come with preloaded bloatware apps that you can’t simply uninstall, so what to do?
Dump the Bloatware
Eugh, stupid bloatware. You CAN get rid of these apps, but first, you’ll need to root your phone. Android rooting is fairly common these days, but it’s not without its risks, and it’s not terrifically easy (though most sensible people are capable of handling it). You’ll need to weigh up the pros and cons of rooting, and if you decide to go ahead, then Google your make and model of the phone plus the word root, and you’ll get instructions. Once you’ve rooted, you can then install an app like System App Remover that will easily let you uninstall all those bloatware apps.
Don’t want to root? Then you’re pretty much stuck with those preloaded apps, unfortunately. However, do make sure that you check out the app menu under your settings menu and disable or block those apps if you’re able to do so. It’s better than nothing.
Get Up to Date
Your next step is pretty simple too; you need to make sure that you’re running the most up to date software version that you can get for optimal performance. Head into your settings menu, scroll all the way down to “about device” and then click on the option to search for updates. If there’s an Android update, download and install it before moving on.
Pro Tip: You can use a VPN to change your IP to a new location to get OTA updates quicker.
Deal with Syncing
Syncing refers to how often your phone has to connect to somewhere else to get information, such as your email server to check and see if there are new emails in your account. Depending on how many accounts and apps you have to sync there’s a chance that your phone could be wasting a lot of power syncing things in the background. This is pretty easy to deal with since all you need to do is make sure that your syncing as little as possible. First, go into settings then accounts and see which accounts are syncing. If there are any that you don’t use, delete them.
Once this is done, you’ll need to go into each account that’s on the list, then into that account/app’s settings menu and look for the sync option, which will let you control how often the account or app syncs. You can change the sync frequency to whatever you wish. You might need emails to sync every ten minutes or so, so that you don’t miss new emails, but there are other accounts than can probably sync just once a day. Set syncing to the maximum interval that you feel comfortable with to optimise performance.
Phone animation just means the smooth action that Android uses to make it look like you’re sliding your app drawer open (making this an action, rather than just placing the open app drawer on your screen). The animation does take up a fair amount of power, though, and by decreasing animation, you’ll have that extra power to use elsewhere.
Now, don’t get freaked out, this is easy. Head into settings, then choose “about phone.” If there’s an option there that says “developer options” click it, if not, press the option that says “build number” seven or eight times (yes, seriously). You’ll then see a prompt that says “you have activated developer options” so go back to the about phone menu and hit developer options. Scroll down to “drawing” and you’ll see three options (window animation scale, transition animation scale, animator duration scale) all set to 1. Change the 1s to 0.5 and you’re good to go. You should find that navigation around your phone and menus is a lot faster now.
Pro Tip: In the developer options menu you might also want to switch off the option that says “force 4x MSAA” (unless you’re a big mobile gamer, in which case don’t!), for even faster performance…
More High Tech Options…
There are another couple of things you can do that will improve your Android’s performance, but these options are more technical, so they’re not for everyone. If you choose to do any of these, you should be able to find in-depth how-to guides online, but beware that you attempt them at your risk!
Downloading a custom ROM can be an easy enough way to get better performance out of your phone, and is relatively risk-free (though not completely). But if you want to get the most out of your mobile, then you’ll want to “overclock” it. You’ll need to root your phone first, then download an app like Overclock for Android, or Set CPU. These apps allow you to “break the speed limit” on your phone, forcing it to go faster than the manufacturer has limited it to. Again, this isn’t simple, but if you’re technically inclined overclocking can be a smart move.