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    Phone slow?

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    sinister_midget
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    Phone slow?

    Post  sinister_midget on Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:42 am

    You got a phone and it worked pretty well. It was quick to respond and everything seemed fast all around.


    These days, though, things drag. Sometimes a lot. You used to tap something and it would pop right up. Now you tap it, wait a couple of seconds and tap it again because you're not sure you hit it right the first time. Or it opens right away, but it sits at the opening screen two or three times as long as it used to. Or you hit the back arrow and nothing happens. So you hit it again and nothing happens. So you keep hitting it because it's not doing what you want. When it finally does respond, you meant to go back a screen, but it saw all of those taps and it did each one of them. Which often takes you completely out of the app and you have to start all over.


    It happens to everybody. Even IOS users, though they complain about it less. (Possibly because they get gouged so bad for their products in the first place they don't want to make it sound like they got ripped off.)


    What can you do about it? A few things, but your options are going to be somewhat limited.


    Most likely you've added apps over time. If you use live wallpapers (ones with stuff that moves) it uses resources. Some of the things you've added start at boot and run constantly, using resources. Some look for a wifi connection 100% of the time. Some check your GPS location constantly, Some run ads and spyware that are constantly sending you notifications or reading your contacts or indexing your photos or whatever. Plus, unless you bought an unlocked phone, there's probably a ton of bloat put on there by your phone provider.


    So, what CAN you do? Well, if you use live wallpapers, get rid of them. If you installed apps that change the sound settings at certain times, consider whether you really need them or not. There are various ad detectors out there that can help you find those apps that annoy you and use your phone's power. Use one or more of those to help you decide which apps you may no longer want or need based on such things as ads. (Some detectors can find somethings, and other detectors find different things. You may need to install one, use it, then uninstall it when you have gotten rid of everything you don't need that it tells you about. Then go on to another detector.)


    You can sometimes get short-term relief by deleting the cache. Go to Settings -> Storage. (On mine it's called Storage and USB.) Scroll down and you'll find something called Cache or Cached data. Tap that and it will ask if you want to delete everything there. Tell it yes and it will clear it.


    What does that do? Frankly, not a whole lot unless there's a big amount stored. Every time you run an app it caches what it needs so it will run a little faster the next time. It builds up over time with useless cruft. All you're doing is eliminating that. The app will still work fine. It will just take a slight bit longer to get going again the next time (usually not even enough to notice).


    Another way is to turn off junk you don't need and can't uninstall. That's usually useless garbage and bloatware your provider puts there that is more annoyance than utility. Most of it can be turned off, but not all of it will let the phone work right afterward. So it's best to turn something off and check things for awhile before turning more off. That way you don't run into the problem (like I did) that something stops working and you have no idea which of the 10 apps you disabled caused it.


    To do this, go to Settings -> Apps. It will open to Downloaded. Those can be uninstalled, so you aren't interested win those. Slide over to All. (Unfortunately, there's no tab for only built-in, which would make this a lot easier.) You can go through the list and disable the things that are useless to you. For instance, I don't use Chrome, preferring Dolphin instead. So I install Dolphin and disable Chrome. I also have a couple of MOTO Gs and MOTO Es. The Motorola stuff doesn't do me any good, so I disable those.


    So you tap the one you want to get rid of. If it's one you installed, it will say Uninstall at the right top. If it says Disable then this is one your vendor put there. If you tap Disable it will probably ask if you want to uninstall any updates for it. That's safe to do because even if you change your mind later, it will put them back again (actually, it will put back only the ones it needs, not all of them, so this can help clear some space and memory anyway.) If you do this and find something stops working, just go back and re-enable the app.


    For the above, leave anything with "google" or "android" alone. Also the obvious ones that you need, like keyboard input, vendor certificates, anything with com. in the name ("some_stuff" being anything that it says there, not a literal "some_stuff"). Basically, anything you're not sure about, don't touch. If you'd like to find out if it's safe, contact me and I'll see what I can learn or tell you what I know.


    That last thing can do a lot to make things run better. Or not. It depends on each device, but it usually does give some improvement.


    If you don't want to go to all of that trouble of going through apps, and if you don't mind starting all over, just reset your phone to factory condition. Go to Settings -> Backup & reset -> Factory data reset. It will ask for confirmation, maybe a few times. If you have a passcode assigned (you'd know because it would be the same one you use on your lockscreen if you use one) it will ask for that as well. Once it goes through the motions the phone will be back to the condition it was in before you used it the first time. One thing you should watch for if you go this route is when you start setting it up and add your gmail account, there will be an option in there to automatically restore everything.


    If you auto-restore, all of what you had before will be put right back again. It will take a little time for it all to install, but it will be there eventually. The upside is, you won't have to go manually put those things back. The downside is, your phone, though it may run better for awhile, will eventually be back where it is now.


    If you don't auto-restore, you'll have to put back everything you installed the first time manually. That will give you the chance to look through what you had to see if you really want those things. To get to everything you ever installed, open the Play store, tap the three line thingy in the upper left, tap My apps & games, then slide over to All. That will have a list of everything you installed ever on any phone that's in the Play store. Including vendor products. (If you've had more than one device, some of those may not be compatible with the current one, so it won't let you install them.) Go through the list, find what you really want and install it.


    Either way, auto-installing or doing it manually, the phone will run better for awhile than it was doing before you wiped it.


    Note that the above stuff about auto-restoring is separate from the google syncing. You'll get your contacts and emails back either way. Your photos and everything should be safe if they were auto-synced before. The google stuff will automatically restore things when you log into the account when setting up the phone. The above stuff is only about the apps and any account info you had associated with those.


    No matter what, though, you'll eventually be back to a slow phone. You can do the same thing over and over, or you can consider rooting it to get rid of the bloat and junk the phone provider put on there. (This will only work with an unlocked phone. If you've had the phone long enough, typically a year or more, the company will usually give you codes to unlock it. They might try to hem and haw, but the law requires them to do it after a period of time.) Rooting can open up your phone to a whole new world. But there are too many ways to do it to cover here. Some phones will never be rootable. Most will, but the means to get to it varies by phone type, so there's no pat answer for how to get there with it.


    That's already more than I intended to cover. If you aren't asleep already, I'm done for now. I'm done even if you are asleep.

      Current date/time is Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:39 pm