A Guide to Rekindling Your Relationship

Your smartphone is your own personal assistant. It answers questions for you, it entertains you, and it connects you to the people you care about. It is your clock, your calendar, and even your flashlight. Your smartphone makes you a smarter, more efficient, and happier individual – except for when it begins to disappoint you. Just as a human personal assistant gets worn out if not taken care of, your pocket personal assistant does as well. When this happens, you get frustrated and stressed and hold grudges against the device that once brought so much utility to your life. You then decide to cheat on your personal assistant. You begin browsing online for other personal assistants and analyzing your friends’ caretakers until you find that special device that revitalizes your mobile computing desires. Your heart beats faster every time you think of this newly discovered device, and, like a preteen girl drunken with frenzied affection, you frivolously give in, disbanding your old friend in the darkness of a recycling box.

This scenario does not need to happen to you. With the properly equipped knowledge of your Android device, you can put your money away for a time deemed absolutely necessary (e.g. when you accidentally shatter your phone on the basketball court). The purpose of this guide is to rekindle the flame between you and your smartphone by providing tips and tricks on how to pump efficiency back into your Android device. By clearing your app data, disabling/uninstalling unused apps, removing unnecessary widgets/shortcuts, updating firmware, relocating media, and installing antivirus software, you will be on your way to reincarnating that “love at first sight” experience you once had with your phone on day one.

Clear App Cache

Your phone’s mobile apps continuously write to cache memory, eating up precious system resources. Over time, the cache for certain apps can grow quite large. Clearing out this cache can substantially decrease computing lag that you may notice when navigating through your smartphone. You can clear the cache of individual apps by visiting your phone’s Settings menu > Apps page, selecting each app one at a time, and touching the Clear cache button. This method can be quite tedious, however; a more efficient method to clearing unnecessary cache is by using an app appropriately called App Cache Cleaner.

After installing and launching App Cache Cleaner, simply select the Clear All button to clear the cache of all your apps. Your cache will build back up over time as you continue to use your apps, so it is suggested that you clear your cache regularly. App Cache Cleaner offers a handy solution to this dilemma. In the app’s Settings menu, select Auto Clear Interval and specify a duration. This will automatically clear the cache at the time interval you select.

Disable/Uninstall Unused Apps

Many of the apps that you do not use anymore are burdening your device. From the poker app you played for five minutes last month to the fortune teller app that you have yet to open, all downloaded apps have the potential to bog down your mobile computing experience by either unknowingly running in the background or stubbornly taking up valuable storage space. Apps that you have downloaded yourself are simple to uninstall, but disposing of the bloatware (carrier-installed apps) that have lived on your device since activation can be a little more challenging to get rid of.

If you have rooted your device, you can entirely remove that useless NFL Mobile and unwanted Audible app without fret. If you have not rooted your device, there is an easy alternative – disabling. Disabling unused, carrier-installed apps disable their resources from ever running, allowing for freed CPU and memory management availability. To disable an app, navigate to Settings > Apps, swipe to the ALL apps section to view all apps, find the app you would like to disable and tap on it. This will bring up the App info page where you can select the Disable button to incapacitate the app. To re-enable an app, scroll to the bottom of the ALL apps screen, select the disabled app, and hit Enable.

Limit Widgets and Live Wallpapers

Widgets allow for an “at-a-glance” view of an app’s most important data and functionality that is accessible right from the user’s home screen. As much convenience as they provide, they can seize just as much from the performance aspect of your phone. Widgets greedily eat away at battery life and slow your device. Because of this, it is worthwhile to sift through your current widgets and remove the ones that you rarely utilize anymore or data-intensive widgets like Facebook. You can remove a widget from the home screen just as you would an app – by long pressing the one you wish to delete and dragging it to the top of the screen.

Another lively Android feature is the option to use a live wallpaper as your background for your apps to lounge across. Like widgets, live wallpapers can bog down your device and drain the battery. To change your wallpaper, preferably to a dead wallpaper, long press the home screen and select the location of where you wish to load the wallpaper from.

Relocate Media

Low internal memory is a sure reason behind any lag your phone may be experiencing. One of the prime suspects to this crime is the hording of your high school prom photo arsenal and the video takes that you and your roommate filmed freshman year at the height your call to fame. If these media files (pictures, mp3s, videos, etc.) still hold sentimental value to you, try moving them to your SD card to free up your device’s precious internal memory for files and applications that you access more frequently. This also makes it easier to retrieve valued media in the case of your phone getting destroyed.

To move data to your SD card, open your Files app and select Device storage. Long press the folder or group of files that you wish to relocate and select the Move icon (arrow pointing to the right). Next, select the drop down list tag to the right of the File app icon located in the upper left corner of the screen, choose SD card in the drop down, and touch the MOVE button in the upper right corner of the screen.

Delete Old Text Messages

Smartphone users spend a majority of their time sending and reading text messages. Over time, these text messages accumulate, consume memory, and produce lag. Because of this, it is important to keep your message satchel to a manageable weight. If you begin to notice lag time between the moment you select a conversation and the time your phone opens and displays the conversation or lag time between keyboard input and display of that input, then it may be time to empty your text message history.

To delete those antique, unneeded conversations of yours, open your Text Messaging app, long press the conversation – tap on other conversations if you wish to include more conversations – and select the Delete icon (trash can) to remove all messages related to that conversation. To keep a hold on your messages in the future, you can place a message limit per conversation. Select Settings within the Text Messaging app, tap the Message limit setting, and choose an appropriate amount of messages to save at a time.

Install Antivirus Software

According to an eMarketer study, local mobile searches (85.9 billion) are projected to exceed desktop searches (84 billion) for the first time in 2015. This means mobile devices are and will continue to be heavily targeted platforms for viruses, malware, and other digital threats. Such threats slow down your phone and are notorious for breaching your security and privacy. Because of this, it is important to use a respectable antivirus application that scans your phone for any possible threats. Given the fact that nearly your entire life is described and contained within your smartphone, mobile security is something that should not be taken for granted.

Popular antivirus solutions include Antivirus Security Free by AVG, Armor for Android, Antivirus and Mobile Security by TrustGo, and Dr. Web Antivirus. These applications provide for great safeguards against viruses, malware, identity theft, and spyware. Some of these apps also include additional packaged features such as task and battery life managers.

Update Firmware

Manufacturers and carriers frequently push software updates to their devices. Firmware renovations fix system lag issues, bugs, security holes, and generally advance the overall stability of your device. Updating regularly ensures system performance improvements for your phone. To check for available updates, navigate to Settings > About phone, select About phone, and choose the System updates option.

Mobile computing is meant for hasty multi-tasking, and on-the-go consumptions of information. The fundamental intent of mobile computing is to enrich your busy lifestyle by making you a smarter, more efficient, and happier individual. It is in your best interest to keep your smartphone well-oiled to supplement its primary purpose. By following the steps mentioned above, you will once again be reunited with your Android device. Say goodbye to waiting seconds for multi-tasking operations to complete and say hello to millisecond processing speeds.

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