Phone Tips & Tricks: Slow as Molasses?

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I honestly don’t know what I would do without my smartphone. When you think about it, smartphone users basically carry around a miniature computer in their pocket. They can have tons of information, apps, and resources all in the palm of their hand.

The downside? All of that data can add up. Think about this for a second. When you first buy a computer, it runs super fast, but once you add in the files, downloads, pictures, and applications, it doesn’t quite have the same speed. Have you ever had a slow moving smartphone? It can be really frustrating, but here are some tips and tricks to keeping your smartphone fast and effective.

1. Close all idle applications. Lots of applications run in the background of your smartphone, even when you don’t need or use them. For most smartphones, simply clicking out of an app doesn’t necessarily shut it down. You could be running 10 apps at once which will not only slow your phone down, but kill your battery-life. I know for Android you can download Advanced Task Killer, an app that lets you schedule the “killing” or closing of apps.

2. Remove widgets. The widgets on your desktop (f.e clock, calendar, contacts etc) eat a lot of resources. Remove all the ones you don’t use. Think about it, do you really need a compass widget on your homescreen?

3. Remove applications you don’t use. When I first got my smartphone, I went a little crazy with the app downloads. I had to do a cleanse once I realized how slow my phone was running. Even if you’re not using them, apps are potentially clogging up your system. Periodically do a “Spring Cleaning” of your apps that you don’t use or need anymore.

4. Upgrade the software. Sometimes all your phone needs is a face-lift. Just like your computer, updates need to be run periodically. Having up-to-date software on your phone will often make it run faster.5. Use a faster internet browser. Sometimes you can find a faster app browser rather than the built-in browser that comes with your phone. For Android, try Opera Mini. It’s faster than the built-in Android browser and has a few other features to offer.

There you have it. Follow these tips and you will be running much faster.

Have any funny stories?

Got any other tips/tricks?

Thanks to our friends at Sprint for supporting this series and offering us great discounts for all federal employees.

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James E. Evans, MISM, CSM

Speaking for the Android (HTC EVO), some applications are running constantly. Take a look at your the running applications (settings>applications>manage applications). Depending on the app, you can change the settings so that it does not auto-start.

John Sim

Here’s a couple more tips:

1. Turn off Wi-Fi and GPS. Or at least until you actully want or need to use it. Otherwise, those too will either be running in the background trying to locate a Wi-Fi or GPS signal (especially if you’re in a building).

2. Charge your phone using an AC adapter plugged into the wall instead of using a USB adapter plugged into a computer. My disclaimer: I don’t know if this is true or not, but I’ve been told that the USB doesn’t fully-fully charge the phone, while a AC one will. How can you tell? Charge up a phone using a USB until the indicator light on the phone says it’s fully-charged. Then, go plug it into an AC adapter connected to a jack, and apparently, it continue to charge even further. Maybe something the MythBuster guys need to confirm.