You purchased a new Android phone or tablet recently and were too excited with all the things it can do almost instantly. Let go a few weeks/months and the time comes when you feel like the Android device is now killing your precious time because it has slowed down considerably and having a lot of lag and sluggishness. Accounts don’t sync on a proper time, there is a lot of lag while switching between homescreens and it hangs a lot even when you decide to listen to music while opening a webpage.
The performance of Android devices suffers a lot as their usage increase because you install a lot of apps (unnecessary ones maybe), apps create and store a lot of data and you do not bother to do any kind of housekeeping to check and fix a few simple things that could improve the overall performance of your device. We are listing the most common and useful tips here which can instantly transform your slow and laggy Android phone/tablet into a Ninja and breathe a new life into it.
Have you purchased a Ninja ?
We cannot stress this enough. You must be knowing or would have known later, the overall hardware specs that your Android device came with. Do not try to overburden it with something it cannot do. If you have an older device with ~500 Ghz Processor and less than a GB of RAM do not install resource hungry apps and mobile games that spread across tons of GB of data. Choose apps that are smaller in size and come with optimized performance. You do not always want to Instagram your photos, you do not need a separate Facebook messenger application just because it shows “heads” of your friends, you do not need 3 different kind of map applications and 2 different kind of fitness apps and you certainly do not need that malicious app which promises you of free songs download. The trick here is to access your needs and and keep it simple and minimum. Stick with the safe and slick apps. Your device is made for your faster access, do not transform it into an over-burden disabled piece of electronic.
You can always root and overclock your device too. But there is a limit and you should know it.
Uninstall unnecessary apps
Always keep the internal storage of your device clean. Do not clog it by installing unnecessary apps and storing your photos, music and video there. The lesser is the space available in the internal storage, lesser will the speed of Android phone or tablet. Get rid of the app that you use only once a month or year. Store you files, data, music and videos on an external SD card or better store them in your cloud storage to use them easily whenever you need.
Most of the branded Android devices that ship through carriers are shipped with lot of bloatware apps that cannot be uninstalled. You should always disable them from settings-> apps menu. You can also move the apps that are taking a lot of storage space to your external SD card. This can be easily done on any Android phone that is upgraded to Android 4.0 and above.
Use a quality high-speed memory card
Do not be miser and chose a high quality external memory card that has high-quality read/write speed. Higher the access speed of your memory card, faster will be read-write cycles and faster will be your phone/tablet. Memory cards are categorized based on class for their read-write speed. Search online stores for branded SD cards with at least Class 6 or Class 10 read-write speeds.
Do not clog the homescreen. Avoid widgets.
Always keep the homescreen of your Android clean. Lot of fancy widgets and loads of icons on the homescreen can significantly slow down the speed of your Android device. Homescreen widgets are very resource hungry. They make high use of graphics processor and consume a large amount of data and battery juice from your device at the same time. Use the app, do not drool over the widgets.
Also avoid using a large number of homescreens at the same time. 2-3 home screens are enough to keep all your app icons and widgets organized properly on your homescreen.
Choose the right launcher
Unless you’re opting for a Google-branded Nexus device, there’s a good chance that the launcher on your Android device is very resource intensive, does all sorts of fancy animations but lags a lot. The ultimate power of Android lies in customization. Search for the right launcher app for your Android phone from here. Launcher apps like Go Launcher and Nova launcher are very light on resources, are very fast to use and provide you with a lot of options to customize at the same time.
Avoid Live Wallpapers
Live wallpapers on Android are always cool and fancy to show off. But most of the Live wallpapers from the play store are not optimized for battery usage and hence drain a lot of battery and make your device slower. Use an attractive but regular wallpaper.
Disable Data/Wifi/Bluetooth and Account sync when not in use
Account sync is an extremely useful feature by which you can keep you apps and data always synced. Account sync is one of the most resource hungry feature on your Android phone since it polls the sync service and does a refresh at every preset internal. You Gmail app for example could be set to sync every 5 minutes hence it makes use of data and battery every 5 minutes. There are a lot of apps like Gmail, Evernote, Dropbox and others that sync very frequently. You should set the sync internal of these apps to be less frequent. Better if you turn off auto-sync from settings and sync the data manually whenever you need it.
Also switch off the data, Wifi and Bluetooth radio on your phone when not in use. They are a big battery drainer and waste the processing power of your phone.
Remove the app cache
There is a lot of cached data that keeps accumulating on your Android phone from apps and reduce the speed the of your device. You should make use of free apps like Clean Master and App Cache Cleaner that can automatically remove older app caches.
Turn off animations
Animations looks very fancy on your Android phone but they come at the price of speed. If you have an older device with a slower and outdated hardware you must turn off the animations on your phone.
You will instantly see that your phone does not lag anymore and works faster. To disable animation, you can goto Settings > Developer Options > Window Animation Scale and chose Animation off. It’s better to turn off the Transition Animation scale off too.
Keep your Android Updated
Always try to keep the firmware of your Android phone updated. Updates like the latest Android version 4.0 and above and “Project Butter” have brought a lot of smoothness and optimizations for the Android OS and devices. Updates always bring stabilization, higher performance and other user-friendly feature to your device. You can check updates for your device by going to About Phone -> System Updates
Root and Unleash the beast with custom ROMs
An Android device has a Linux kernel inside. That means you can easily get root access which gives you administrator level access on your phone.
From my own experience with a lot of Android devices, you should always root your phone and install custom made ROM on it. The factory image on your Android device contains a lot of bloatware apps which are removed on a custom made ROM for your device. Custom ROMs usually have a higher performance, save a lot of battery, overclock the processor, are updated to the latest supported Android version and give a lot of boost to your device. Custom ROMs like CyanogenMod are very popular and support a large number of Android phones. The best place to start and search for a custom ROM for your device is XDA forums.
Note : You should always be careful while rooting and flashing a custom ROM on your Android phone. If not done properly, it can brick your device and leave it useless. Rooting also voids the manufacturer’s warranty on the device.