Android devices are great. They connect us to friends, let us browse the Internet, and can even help us find where we are going. We’ve become so reliant on these devices and their rapid responses to our demands that any lag at all can be excruciating. Unfortunately, tuning your Android device for better performance isn’t always easy. Most tutorials start off by having you root your device. This is not only a time consuming and irritating process, it also carries the risk of permanently “bricking” your device. It turns out that you don’t have to root Android to tweak its performance though. Here are ten ways to make any Android device perform faster without having to root.
Stop Background Processes
Many things are lurking in the background of the Android operating system. These background processes are like apps, but they run even when you are not actively using them. Background processes include things like music, Google Voice, the calendar, and more. The easiest way to identify and stop these background processes is to download the Advanced Task Killer app (aka ATK). ATK simply identifies processes that are running and gives you the option of not only shutting them down, but of keeping them off indefinitely.
This free app, produce by RECHILD, has 4.5 stars after nearly half a million reviews, so you know it delivers when it promises to:
kill applications,boost memory,allow you to ignore apps that can’t be killed, and customize phone functions.
The difference after installing and configuring ATK, which takes just a minute or two, is dramatic.
Turn Off Background Services and Syncing
Services like Facebook, WeatherBug, and email constantly ping servers to see if there is any new information for the app to download to your device. While these features can be useful, they can also slow your device down dramatically by using up valuable CPU cycles. Determine which services you need to leave running and then turn the rest off or stop them by going to Settings > Accounts & Sync (may be just “Accounts” on certain devices) and removing the check form “Background Data.”
Get a Grip on Google
All Android devices come with a plethora of Google services like Books, Games, Gmail, and Google+. If you use them all, then just leave them alone. If, however, you only use a few of these services and have no use for the rest, then delete those that you do not use. You can always download the services later, from Google Play, if you find you want them. Getting rid of them will help decrease the load on your device.
In some cases, Google apps are redundant with other apps installed by your cellular carrier or the device manufacturer. In those cases, decide which you use and which you don’t and get rid of the duplicates. They are all doing the same thing anyway.
Update any apps you have installed and be certain to update your OS and firmware any time upgrades are made available. Having the latest software will not only make your device faster, it will also ensure that you have access to the latest and greatest features as well as the most advanced security options. With most devices, you can go to Settings > About device and then click on “Software update” to check the status of your system and download any relevant updates.
Weed Out Widgets
Widgets are different from apps in that they can run in the background, even when you are not using them. They are also different from background processes in that they are not always running, but rather turn on and off. Basically, widgets make use of background services to periodically update their data. This is great if you use the widget often as it keeps current information at the ready, but can bog down your device unnecessarily if you don’t use the widget much. Delete widgets you don’t use often or, if possible, disable their Wifi, network, Bluetooth, or GPS connections to reduce the load they impose on your device.
Utilize Developer Options
Android makes a lot of options available to developers that are not available when the phone is first taken out of the box. To access these features, first turn on the developer options on your phone by going to Settings > About device and tapping “Build number” seven times or by long pressing “Build number” until it tells you that developer options have been activated.
Once developer options have been activated, go to Settings > Developer Options and turn off “Window animation scale”, and “Transition animation scale.” Doing this will eliminate costly animations that run when you switch screens, launch apps, etc. You will see the biggest gains from this tweak if you are a heavy user, but even light users will see some benefit.
JuiceDefender is actually designed to help improve battery life, but the way it does that is by regulating data connections and syncing. That means that it also will improve performance. The nice thing about JuiceDefender, which comes in free and paid version, is that it makes it easy to control data and syncing in one place. So, if you don’t want to dig through menus and sub-menus, JuiceDefender offers a convenient way to implement that strategies above.
Install LauncherPro or Go Launcher
These are great apps for those people who find the standard Android launcher to be just a bit too slow. If you find that your device locks up or takes too long to launch an app when you tap its icon, then one of these alternative launchers may be the perfect thing for you. They replace the standard Android launching system and provide faster, more responsive options instead. Go Launcher even lets you launch apps with gestures.
Defragmenting is an option of last resort for people who have installed a lot of apps or who have a lot of data stored on their devices. Basically, you need to download an app designed to defragment the memory on your device. Some apps will not only defragment memory, but will also repair memory leaks caused by damaged, corrupted, or poorly coded apps. Note that this option will probably NOT speed up standard device functions (like the phone launcher) that come pre-installed, but it will do wonders for speeding up downloaded applications.
To Root or Not to Root?
If you implement the suggestions above, but find that your device is still not fast enough to suit your needs, then it may be time to consider rooting. Rooting will give you full control over every piece of software on your phone (including the bloatware that comes from providers) and will also let you do things like overclock your CPU. If you are thinking about rooting, keep in mind that you run the risk of damaging your device and that most manufacturers will not honor a warranty on a rooted phone. Also keep in mind that rooting usually exempts your device from future software updates, so you will need to manually update your phone or install a custom