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Speed Up and Improve Battery Life on your Android device (tips and tricks)

The Android system is being used on most of the gadgets that are being available on the market, so most of you are probably using the mentioned OS on your smartphones or tablets. Because of that, this tutorial is coming to help you out in matter of speeding up and improving the battery life of your Android powered device. Bumping the speeds is mostly required if you are using a mid-range or outdated handset, while upgrading the battery life is well, what we all want, whether we are using high end smartphones with great specs and features, or budget friendly devices that brings only decent performances to the users.

During the guidelines from below you will be able to find basic info along with advanced tricks and tips, so we will be starting with “beginners” tips and then we will continue by presenting methods that are not so popular among Android users. Of course, in the end, if you have other ideas that can be used for speeding up and improving the battery life of the Android devices, use the comments area and share your conclusions with us and with other users who will appreciate your advices.

But before starting with the proper guide here is some info that must be noticed before applying some of the steps from below:

  • For some apps or procedures mentioned and explained below, root access might be required. In that case you should know that the warranty of your Android smartphone / tablet will get void.
  • The root access can be easily gained but only by following suitable step by step guides; here, on Android.gs we have numerous root guides available for your handsets, so use the tutorial you need, or choose from the following list: how to root Samsung devices using one-click root method, root almost any Android based handset, how to root Sony Xperia smartphones / tablets using one-click root operation, or use one-click root solution for unlocking Motorola phones.
  • So, the warranty will get void; you shouldn’t panic though as you can easily restore the same afterwards.
  • For regaining the warranty on your Android device, use a un-root operation, downgrade to stock Android OS, or update with an official release of the Android system.
  • When talking about rooting, or other complex operations, like installing a custom ROM or custom kernel, a good idea is to backup your data first. In rare cases your personal info, the one that is saved on the internal storage memory, might get corrupted or even erased, so why risk in loosing everything that’s important to you? Also, if on rooting handsets, consider in making a Nandroid backup too.
  • If you will want to update your Android device with a custom ROM (more aspects about this will be detailed a little bit later), first read this general guide from here.
  • Also, if you will want to overclock or undervolt your Android device, first read the guidelines from here.

Now, for being able to improve the speeds and upgrade the battery life of your Android device you will have to operate more than 1 process. Actually, you might need to apply most of the tips mentioned here, so be careful and read all the lines from below as maybe you will find something new that can be used later for powering the performances of your smartphone / tablet.

Well, the first thing to do is to clear some space, whether we are talking about the SD card or about the internal storage. In this way you can bump the speeds a little bit. Similar with a computer, when your Android device is running on low memory, it will be slowed down by the same. So, you should reclaim drive and SD card space by removing the un-used apps and programs. Be careful as usual the Android devices are coming with two storage spaces: the internal storage or SD card (on Nexus handsets there is only the internal storage). So, clear both these spaces manually or by using dedicated apps from Google Play. Be aware as some apps (SD Maid or root-free Clean Master) will work only on rooted devices, so before installing a new tool read its descriptions. Alternatively, you can move apps from internal storage to SD card, or you can just uninstall the un-used tools, like games or other programs that are using your memory with no purpose.

For clearing up space, first you will have to check the free space left on your Android device; in order to do so go to “Settings -> SD Card & Phone Storage”. Next check which app is taking too much space by heading to path: “Settings -> Applications -> Manage Applications”; from there select “menu” followed by “sort by size”. Based on the results, select which app to remove or to move on the SD card. This is the manual method, though you can anytime choose an easier way: the Apps2Sd tool. Usually each dev is deciding if its app can be moved on the SD card or not. Now, with Apps2Sd you can get pass the restrictions and transfer the tools between SD card and internal storage whenever you need to.

Then, for bumping the speeds on your Android device, you should change and optimize some settings that are referring to: brightness, WiFi, widgets, Bluetooth and any other eye catching effect. Start by adjusting the brightness because the battery will drain faster on high brightness (especially if your device is featuring a large display). Then turn off WiFi and Bluetooth if you are not using these capabilities and make sure to deactivate the on screen effects – it looks good but without them you will be able to upgrade the battery life of your Android handset. You can do all these manually, or you can use Google Play apps like Tasker or JuiceDefender.

Also, you can improve the speeds by trying a new home screen launcher (I recommend you to use apps from Google Play such as LauncherPro, or ADWLauncher) and reducing the number of homescreens. Furthermore a good idea for increasing the speeds and upgrading the battery life is to turn off latitude on Google Maps, remove auto-updating widgets (Facebook especially), turn off polling within apps, turn off GPS if you don’t need it, remember to exit the tools when not using the same and use apps like Rom Toolbox for preventing apps from starting at boot (this app can be used for uninstalling or freezing programs).

Of course it is more than recommended to uninstall the apps that are inappropriate, or that are misbehaving. These tools are using up too much CPU in the background so your smartphone / tablet will be slowed down and the battery will drain faster. In order to resolve these problems I recommend you to use the Watchdog tool which will offer you control over these apps – you will also be able to uninstall or deactivate the unwanted programs by using the same app.

All the operations mentioned above can be applied on locked Android handsets, so root access isn’t required. But if your device is rooted, then beside the already mentioned and explained tips and tricks you can also apply the ones from below.

The first thing to do after gaining root access is to install a custom recovery image. Use CWM or TWRP recovery, as these are the most popular and powerful custom recovery for the Android system. You see, each smartphone and tablet will be delivered with a stock recovery, but unfortunately the same can’t be used when trying to perform complex and unofficial operations. That’s why you have to replace the stock recovery with a custom one.

After flashing the custom recovery image, you have to update your Android device with a custom ROM firmware. By doing that you can check two things at the same time: the battery life will be improved and the speeds upgraded because a custom software brings new and extra features and capabilities that are ensuring that the performances of the handset are being used wisely. Also, a custom system comes with fewer in built programs and also offers the possibility of manually optimizing and customizing the capabilities and settings of your smartphone or tablet.

The next step to do is installing a custom kernel (if the custom ROM isn’t already coming with the same). By flashing a custom kernel you will enable overclocking on your Android device. Overclocking means that you can adjust the maximum frequency on which the CPU operates. So, by doing this task you will be able to increase the frequency for bumping the speeds. Unfortunately, when doing so the battery life will be reduced (if you increase the frequency with only 10-20% then there won’t be problems such as battery drain). As an alternative you can choose to undervolt, which means that you will decrease the CPU frequency for improving the battery life, though your Android phone will be slowed down.

The speeds can be improved by removing the bloatware. These are the in built programs the ones that are loaded when you boot your handsets, or the ones that are using the most of your CPU. These apps are pre installed on your phone and usually you don’t have access to the same, or you don’t have permission for modifying their state. But, if you choose to root your gadget, then you will be able to use some dedicated apps from Google Play (like TitaniumBackup or No Bloat) for freezing or uninstalling all the programs you want.

These are only few methods that can be used for improving the battery life and for bumping the speeds of your Android powered smartphone / tablet. Of course there are many other tweak options available, so for updating the present tutorial, use the comments area from below and share your thoughts and experience with us. Also, for any other step by step guide or Android related tip and trick check our “how to” section, or email us.