When you go to a mobile store to check out for an Android phone, there are a few things that you look for before deciding on which Smartphone to buy . The first, of course is the price of the phone. Now a days the price of an Android smartphone ranges from a mere 3000 INR to a maximum of 45,000 INR. Once you pass the price barrier, the next thing that you look for will be the camera, screen resolution, touch screen sensitivity, wifi/Bluetooth connectivity, processor speed etc. But did you know that there are a few applications and tweaks that are available in the market that, if used the right way can actually make a low end Android Smartphone/ tablet work like a real machine? In this article I will be discussing about a few of those applications and tweaks that can actually make your smartphone experience simpler and smoother.
What is Rooting? Should I root my smartphone?
Before I get into the apps and tweaks, it's very important that one understands the idea of rooting a smartphone and the advantages and disadvantages of the same. You might have heard of the terminology called 'Jailbreaking' usually used to run applications owned by third parties on an iPhone or an iPad, the ones that are not necessarily approved by apple. In the case of Android smartphones, the process is called 'Rooting' though it's not just confined to installing third party applications. What happens when you root a smartphone is that, you get the administrative (admin) rights/ control of your Android mobile operating system, by which you can make changes that will suit your needs. Now let's see the advantages and disadvantages of the same.
Advantages of rooting
A better control of your device Install custom ROMS Install a variety of third party applications like NoFrillsCPU, Set CPU, File expert etc. (Note: NoFrillsCPU is an application that can actually increase the processor speed of your Android smartphone. That is, if you install the right kernel, You can convert you 1 GHz processor smart phone to up to a 2 GHz processor Smartphone!) Easier backup and restore
Disadvantage of rooting
Rooting will VOID your Phone's warranty. Since you are taking the full control of your smartphone from the device by rooting the phone, whatever issues that you face after rooting, the mobile manufacturers won't be responsible for the same. Even though there are a few methodologies to get your phone back to a factory reset, it's not worth a risk if you are not sureCan temporarily/ permanently damage your phone Increasing the CPU speed might make your smartphone overwork and if not worked upon in a controlled manner, can eat up the battery severely
I have used two Android smartphone and I have rooted both of them and have never faced any problem and had some wonderful experience using a few of the third party apps. But at the end of the day it all comes down to weather the user wants to take the risk or not.
Improve the battery life of your smartphone
An issue that every smartphone user face – My Android phone doesn't give a good battery back up! Once thing that you should understand before buying a smartphone is that it's a machine that has single core/ dual core or even quad core processors handling multiple applications that runs on a very small battery. Considering the multi tasking it does, it's evident that the phone will use up a lot of juice (battery) during the process. So all you can do is , control your smartphone from doing things which may not be necessary at particular times. A few things that can be done without the help of an application will include
Turning off data/ Wifi whenever not necessary Putting your phone in 'Airplane' mode while sleeping (Only if you are not expecting any late night urgent calls) Turn of features like Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi tethering etc Reduce the phone brightness when you are indoorsAvoid using live wallpapers as they eat up a lot of your battery since the screen is on most of the time
Applications to improve the battery life of your Android Phone
Android Assistant: This is one of my favorite applications. The size of this app is less than 1 MB, but it can do wonders to your smartphone, with around 12 features clubbed into this app. A few of these includes Quick boost, where in you can kill the unwanted tasks running in the background, cache cleaner, Volume controller, Batch installer/ uninstaller, and even App2SD by which you can transfer applications installed on your phone to your SD card thus saving some internal storage space.
Juice defender: The application can help you run the above mentioned manual tasks (Switching off wifi/Bluetooth, Airplane mode etc.), on its own by configuring a few settings. It majorly has three settings Extreme, Aggressive and Balanced. The free version of this software supports the Aggressive and Balanced power/ battery saver configurations, where in the data connectivity can be controlled
If you learn how to use both these applications properly, this is all that you need to save your Smartphone's battery. But again, at the end of the day, it becomes the user's choice if he/ she wants to try out new applications.
Faster, better, Smoother Android phone – Tips and Tricks
Try optimizing your smartphone using apps like Android Assistant which will help you kill all the un wanted background apps and also clean your memory cache thus helping your phone perform better Avoid using Auto sync If your phone starts lagging, just reboot it. Don't wait for killing apps as rebooting will save you much time Disable Brower plug ins (Browser – Settings – Plug-in – Off) Install only those applications which you will be using most of the timeTry using voice commands as that will save you a lot of typing time and also puts lesser effort on your smartphone/ tablet Use Dolphin browser or Opera browser for better browsing experience as they are easy to use and doesn't utilize much of your processor speed Remove unwanted apps and Widgets (Settings – Apps – Select app – uninstall). The same option is available of the Android Assistant appTry upgrading to the latest version of your Operating System software
Google always tries their level best to give their customers the best out of their Android Operating system. Starting from Froyo, through Ginger bread and Ice-cream Sandwich and now Jelly bean, the usability and user friendliness of the OS has become better each time. By applying the above mentioned suggestions and tweaks, I am pretty sure that you can cream out the best out of your Android Smartphone without affecting the user friendliness, thus making it a smarter, smoother and a faster machine at your disposal.
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