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Easy ways to stop killing your smartphone

Follow these simple steps to save yourself the trouble of buying an expensive new phone every few months

brunch Updated: Jun 11, 2017 00:10 IST
Rajiv Makhni
Rajiv Makhni
Hindustan Times
Smartphones,tech watch,slow phone
To keep your phone working super fast, do not fall in to the ‘smartphone trap’.

Welcome to the ‘smartphone trap’. Almost all of us have succumbed to it. We buy a new phone, marvel at the speed, download a ton of apps, use it for a few months, get frustrated as the phone slows down, try a few tips to resuscitate it, give up, buy a new phone. We blame the phone companies, the coders for developing laggy OSs, the app makers for releasing half-baked products. Guess the one person we don’t blame? Ourselves! Smartphones have been around for way too long for you to not know that you’re screwing up the phone in more ways than a gigolo on a busy night!

Kill the task killers

The most popular tip phone ‘experts’ will give you is to use a task killer app to free up RAM. These apps slow your phone down as the OS on your phone keeps apps in RAM so they restore when you need them. When Task Killers shut them down, the phone has to start them from scratch thus slowing it down. Delete the damn thing. Instead, once in a few days close all apps and reboot your phone.

Put a break on speed boosters

These aren’t working at the hardware level, thus what they promise is purely a placebo effect. Plus most are ‘free’ with all kinds of advertisements running on them all the time that slow things down to a crawl.

Lean screen

It doesn’t matter how powerful your phone is. Widgets, apps with heavy notifications, live wallpapers use a huge amount of resources in the background and take a huge amount time to redraw the home screen every time you come back to it. Lean is good here!

Remember that heavy widgets slow down your phone.

App attack

Take it easy on the apps. Think before you install one. Apps are the main reason that your lightening fast phone turns into a drugged turtle. Apps like Facebook, Snapchat can slow your phone down by 30 per cent. Make sure that every app that makes to your phone, deserves it.

Anti the antivirus

Another myth. Yes, there are viruses out there. Unfortunately that huge bloated antivirus software that most people install won’t find anything. Keep the apps you’ve downloaded from legitimate sources, don’t click on silly links, back up your data and get rid of that antivirus scam on your phone.

The auto-sync conundrum

Yes, we get smartphones for auto-sync apps and they are notorious for slow downs. Let the email, the social media, the instant messaging apps do their essential magic – but take it easy on others that are slow killing your phone.

Clean boot

Once every six months go through all your photos and videos and delete all the crap. Prune your contact list. Back it all up. Don’t backup your apps though. Do a factory reset of your phone, install only the apps you really need and start all over.

Once in every six months, delete all photos and videos that you don’t need, take a backup and do a factory reset of your phone.

Nerd options

There are more intense things you can do like rooting your phone, using a different ROM or flashing a custom kernel. If it all sounds like gibberish then you’re better off not even thinking along those lines. This is mainly for those with an inner geek calling.

There it is then. Your free guide to not falling into the ‘smartphone trap’. Its simple and doesn’t cost anything at all. Do these things and it’ll feel like you have a new phone, except you didn’t pay anything for it. Merry Christmas!

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

From HT Brunch, June 11, 2017

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First Published: Jun 11, 2017 00:10 IST