There’s nothing quite so irritating as a great phone going south. Within just a couple of years, it can seem like your mobile device begins to lose its power. Perhaps it’s buggy or works more slowly. Maybe it fails to hold a charge as long as it used to. Whatever the symptoms, you know there’s a problem. But is it time to upgrade already?
Instead of shelling out for a brand new device, consider giving your device a tune-up. For an Android phone, here are a few key things you can do to maximise your phone’s speed, power, and lifespan---and better enhance your experience with the device.
Make Your Battery Last Longer
Extending your phone’s battery life is something all of us could benefit from. Smartphones get significant use. One statistic estimates that Australians spend about 10 hours per day using a mobile device. Naturally, this takes a toll on the battery.
But you can easily lengthen the overall lifespan of your battery if you follow the best practises for charging and usage. A few rules can help:
You don’t have to charge your device to 100%.
Most experts agree that your phone fares better if kept to a charge of around 65-75%. This is easier on the battery and helps extend its lifespan.
Don’t let your battery drop below 20%.
This is the dreaded “red zone,” and it can be particularly draining on your battery. However, occasionally you can let the battery dip down to 0 to assist with recalibration.
Use the charger that came with your phone.
Charging up with only “official” chargers can be the best way to be sure you’re juicing up properly and not taxing your battery.
Check out our blog post for more suggestions on charging wisely and maximising your battery life.
Keep Your Security Settings Up to Date
Protecting your phone from external threats is paramount to increasing its longevity.
Basic Internet safety is the first step, such as not clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments/files from unknown senders. For better protection, you can download an app to help prevent malware from infecting your device. Here are a few security apps recommended by Digital Trends.
Google itself advises a few key strategies for a safer phone, including setting a secure lock screen (using fingerprint recognition, a pin code, etc) and only downloading new apps directly from the Play Store.
If you want to avoid an inevitable update, remember that you can’t do much with a lost phone. Set up Find My Device to allow you to track a missing Android phone or tablet. To use Google’s official and straightforward Find My Device tool, you just need to be sure your Android phone is connected to your Google account, is turned on, and is connected to the Internet. Android devices are set to be trackable by default, which is a nice feature.
To be wholly sure that your Android smartphone has the Find My Device feature turned on, go to Settings > Google (or Google services) > Security and look in the Find My Device section. The option ‘Remotely locate this device’ should be turned on. Also, ensure Location is on in Settings.
Instantly Make Your Phone Faster
Here’s a brilliant hack that can help speed up your Android’s performance tremendously.
- Open Settings on your device.
- Scroll to the bottom and tap on About phone.
- Tap Software information.
- Find the section called Build number. Tap this 7 times consecutively. This will allow you to become a “Developer” on your device.
- Go back to your Settings app. At the bottom, you will find a new menu selection: Developer options. Inside this section, there are many, many options, but you only need to make changes to 3 settings.
- Scroll down until you find: Window animation scale, Transition animation scale and Animator animation scale.
- The default listed next to each setting should say 1x. We’re going to change those animations by speeding them up just a little. Tap on each of those scales and change 1x to .5x. This is going to enable your phone’s animations to take half the time to play, speeding up your phone in a major way.
- Give it a try and notice the difference.
Download the Google Keyboard (Gboard)
While many Android devices come equipped with Gboard, not all do. For those, you might want to strongly consider downloading and installing this efficient, feature-heavy keyboard. It has a fast response time, plus lots of options for finding GIFs, emojis, and more. It has plenty of shortcuts to make typing a breeze and you can even search Google right in your messaging app. If you want to improve your Android experience, give this keyboard a go.
Manually Check Your App Permissions
Check your app permissions. You can customise what your apps have access to by adjusting permissions in your Settings. This is one of the best and simplest ways to make your device quicker and more streamlined. You can control the permissions of your apps, opening up more space and preventing them from using valuable background data (something which will both slow you down and potentially increase your bill). Navigate to the Apps section of your Settings, and you can individually check and set your permissions.
Use a Cleaner App
You can improve your phone’s efficiency with just the press of a button (or two). There are numerous Android apps that assist with “cleaning” your device. Basically, these apps work by removing “junk files” from your phone and clearing the cache. The various apps also purport additional features such as deleting residual image thumbnails as well as generally boosting performance.
Opinions are somewhat divided over whether these cleaning/speed boosting apps are necessary or effective. But they are easy to use and many of them are free, boasting thousands of positive reviews in Google’s Play Store. It may be worth a try if it could help to optimise your phone.
Need help deciding which app to try? This list will give you some ideas, sharing the best Android cleaner apps for 2018.