Monday, April 22, 2013

Cyber Monday - How to speed up your old (or slow) Android Cell phone

Back in September I upgraded  my cell phone to an Android phone (the Pantech crossover P8000), however, as I soon realized, my phone lacked a lot of horsepower and was essentially slow as dirt.  So recently, I took it upon myself to investigate how to speed this little guy up and boy did it pay off!  This is what I did....

First: move as many apps as you can onto your SD card so you can free up as much space as possible on your actual phone.  While it is possible to do this manually by going to Settings then Applications then Manage Applications.  From here, you can select each application (which I'm sure there are a LOT of them) and tell them to move to your SD card, or you can just use an app called AppMgr III (App 2 SD).  This app will search out all of your apps, then tell you which ones are movable, which are on the SD card already, and offer to clear app cache. At the bottom of the screen it'll let you know how much space you have and what is available on your phone.

Next, because my phone is older and a little slower, I wanted to watch out for apps that aren't working properly. Watchdog Task Manager Lite watches how much CPU is being used in the background and make sure none of your apps are hogging too much of it, if an app is misbehaving, then it'll alert you and ask if you want to kill it or wait. This little guy will also let you know how much CPU and memory in real time each app is using.

After that, for the real speed up, I changed my desktop.  My phone gives me 4 default screens and no options on changing them. To my surprise, I was able to change how many screens I have and the whole feel of the "desktop" by using LauncherPro. LauncherPro allows you to change how many screens you have, I picked 2, it also modified the buttons at the bottom of the screen into a much more usable form along with an overhaul of the apps menu which I really enjoyed. This app alone improved the performance of my cell  phone the greatest.  Once installed, my tiny phone became much more reasonable, it no longer locked up from too many apps running and since then, it hasn't frozen and randomly restarted either. Plus I now don't have to charge my phone every day!

Lastly, I did my last overhaul on the widgets. Widgetsoid let me get rid of all of my old widgets and use only widgets that I would fully use. So at the top of my phone, I have one widget, that I use every button, force update, network settings, auto update, battery % indicator, cellular data on/off, brightness, and airplane mode, of course, yours can be different. I also switched the weather app with one I actually use and much more prefer, weather underground app.

So while the first few steps weren't absolutely vital, they are a good check for the phone and save a little bit of time, which is always helpful. For everyone though, I highly recommend checking out Launcher Pro and widgetsoid, absolutely amazing apps for the cell phone.

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