Is your Android device Lagging or Slowing down? Here is why and how to fix that
You may be the proud owner of the biggest flagship device on the planet but if it’s a couple of months already, you may have to rethink. Despite being the most powerful device in the market, your device may lag a little if it’s a few months old.
You may be owning a 100$ low-end device or a 500$ high-end device, if you don’t take proper care, your device starts to get slower. Now don’t fool yourself thinking Apple devices never lag, they do like all other devices but with a very low rate.
Since it’s the Android that takes 85% of the world’s handheld devices market, we will talk about it first. The story of Apple devices is for another day.
Here we are going to reveal few tips on How to fix an Android Device Lagging and Slowing Down Issues. So please read the complete guide to keep your android smartphone smooth and lag free.
Android Device Lagging and Slow Down Fixes
Without further delay lets jump into the possible reasons why an Android device lags and its optimal solutions.
Every android device may not be completely optimised: Android is an open source software and any OEM (original equipment manufacturer) can buy a license to port the Android OS onto their devices. Having hundreds of manufacturers like Samsung, Xiaomi, Lenovo, One plus, etc. is the direct consequence of such a strategy.
This resulted in the generalisation of Android OS, unlike Apple which is a closed system where every hardware and software component is designed to get the maximum performance, Android is designed to run on different hardware combinations with a wide variety of processors, motherboards and sensors.
Android Device speed up tips
Although Google allows OEMs to further tweak and optimise the OS for their devices, OEMs end up only making a new skin (over stock android) for their devices and try to generally optimise a few things for their line of flagship devices as there are usually many other devices that need to take care of.
So optimising the OS for each and every model isn’t taking place. Due to this, most of the hardware is getting wasted (due to the minor software in capabilities) and this results in significant performance drop when used for a prolonged time.
Optimal solution : You can do nothing except for flashing a custom ROM for your device which is heavily optimised.
OTA(Over the Air) Updates: Once your phone is shipped and you are using it for some time, it is usual to get software updates or even new OS version updates. Keep in mind that updating to the latest version every time is not a good idea. Many devices tend to lag or significant performance drops when updated, especially when a new OS update is done. This is due to the fact that is mentioned earlier, the software isn’t fully optimised for the device’s hardware. It may promise a better performance, but it is not the case every time. I do accept that some updates increase the performance, but most of them will not, especially with new OS updates.
Remember that your phone is already shipped, the manufacturer(OEM) may or may not have your device model in production, the only reason why your OEM is providing updates is because of the fact that the OEM promised you latest updates while buying their device.
Optimal solution: The new OS version updates are generally focused on more powerful devices which made their way while you were using your old device. There is no point to update to the latest OS unless your device is powerful enough to handle the update (like Google’s Nexus devices) or unless until you get a more stable or optimized release (except you are a tech enthusiast). You might also want to update if you are compelled by any new feature that the update provides which is necessary for you, until then, there is no reason for you to update.
Bloatware: Once you buy a device from any OEM, especially from a reputed one, you may find a lot of pre-installed apps over the stock bloatware (such as Samsung apps, S health, etc. in the case of Samsung). If you import your device from another country you may also find bloatware dumped by carriers like AT&T, Verizon, etc.
These apps usually take much space on the device’s storage and may even run many background processes constantly which eats up your device’s memory(RAM), CPU time as well as battery juice. The worst part of this is, these apps cannot be uninstalled. They just sit in the device consuming valuable resources irrespective of its usage.
Optimal Solution: The most common way is to disable them, you can do it by going to settings>apps>[app name]>disable. This will only disable the app, it stops its background processes and is not available to use (it is not shown in the app drawer) but sits in your device’s storage.
The optimal solution is to root your device and completely uninstalling the preinstalled apps.
Until now we saw the reasons which were out of our scope, now let us see those reasons for which we are responsible.
Apps, apps and apps: Having a smart handheld device is like having the whole world in your pocket. Yes, I agree, but that does not mean that you need to have all the apps in the world to be installed on your device.
There are many users who often install apps which they do not care about once they have opened it for the first time. When this becomes a habit, there is no one to save your device. Installing unnecessary apps and not uninstalling them periodically is the biggest curse for your device’s performance.
Once you install an app, it not only takes a bit of your storage but also much of your CPU time and a chunk of your device’s memory(RAM) (do not forget the battery). Even though you did not launch the app, it continues to run in the background eating up your system resources, it is the same case as with the bloatware.
Even though you uninstall the app a large amount of the app’s data might reside on the device’s storage (this is intentionally done by the OS so that when the app is reinstalled, the app does not have to deal with completely new data). But eventually installing and uninstalling many apps over a course of time accumulates a large amount of App data (junk) which takes most of the storage and in turn reduces the reading and writing speeds of the memory chip in your device.
Optimal solution: You can periodically clear the cache of your device manually. It can be done by going to settings>storage>cached data.
The other way to do it, is by using cleaner apps once in a while to clean the junk data. Note that I used “Once in a while” as installing cleaner apps will take many of system resources and adds constantly running background threads and processes.
The best optimal solution is to install only those apps which are necessary.
Updating Apps: This may be a direct consequence of the above mention cause. When you install an app it is common to get updates from Playstore. As mentioned in earlier reasons, updating may not guarantee a better performance every time. When a developer publishes an app in the play store he/she constantly need to update his app based on the latest APIs provided by Google for their new OS versions. This is done to ensure maximum compatibility with a maximum number of devices currently available.
Generally, the latest APIs are targeted to latest devices which are powerful than their predecessors. This makes your device slower as the apps are not optimized for your current OS version. Updates are commonly made to add new features but also carry support for newer Android versions which may slow down older OS versions as newer APIs may be more resource hungry.
Optimal solution: Updating your apps frequently is not a good idea until you are compelled by a new feature that makes your work easier. Be cautious before updating your apps.
You can disable auto-update of apps in Play store settings.
Background processes: All the reasons seem to be interlinked? yes, because they are. When you have many pre-installed apps(bloatware) and many more installed apps it is obvious to have a lot background threads and processes.
These processes, as you might have guessed, are very resource hungry which eat up your device’s resources such as CPU time, memory(RAM) and most significantly your device’s battery.
Optimal solutions: If you want to stop the background processes without uninstalling the apps you may have to consider installing “Greenify” from Playstore. It hibernates most of the background processes of pre-selected apps which the user selects beforehand. This in turn improves the performance (by freeing up the resources) and battery life of your device.
If your device is rooted you can auto-hibernate the apps, and if you have Xposed framework installed you can use the boost mode to get the most out of the app.
Fragmented file system: As you go on dumping files and data on your device’s storage, it seems to accumulate more and more temporary files and other type of registry files that make the content more accessible. But as you delete some files and dump new data, the file system tends to fragment the new data into small chunks that are placed randomly based on available free space. This causes latencies in file access times thus reducing the read and write speeds of the storage, which ultimately drop the performance of your device.
Optimal solutions: Fragmentation is a common issue for any data storing device, from computer hard drives to memory cards, it cannot be prevented, it can only be cured by defragmenting the whole disk. Although the latter is the thing for computers, as of now defragmenting a handheld device’s storage is not popularly used.
The only way to handle that is to factory reset your device once in every few months. Before making a reset be sure to back up everything off your device which is important to you. Once done, restore your backup and use your device normally as you were doing before the reset.
Bonus tip: Rebooting your device at least twice a week is a good habit, as it clears all the built-in caches and registers and fills them with new data once the device is booted.
So from next time you use your device keep these things in your mind and get the maximum out of it.