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Some advice for optimizing Android

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It's true that mobile technology has great possibilities in too many areas, and numerous without Internet connection. Attend to a video class while you are walking, read a book in the bus, schedule your meetings, listen with text to speech a lesson or a newspaper in any situation... For sport analytic, audio reproduction, video camera, photography, audio recorder, metronome, tuner, alarms, timers, notes, dictionaries and even an entire encyclopedia in a pocket! Still without one?

The idea was not recent, it looks like a natural evolution until the tiny computer, with multi-touch, small, powerful and portable. With software the possibilities are endless because everyone could develop new ideas. A device with Android tends to be relatively affordable and then accessible, even more than the habitual personal computer with compatible components. Any hardware developer could avoid the costs of an operating system, tailoring it for especial needs (and let's temporally forget the ethics about it, in commercial derivative works of GPL licenses closing the source code). One of the most affordable computers is the now popular Raspberry Pi, with Linux and a usual price of about 25 – 35$.

A contemporary issue of Android appears in how it handles memory resources and tends to activate processes, services and in other tasks, consuming RAM memory and with it battery and general performance. Another, is the habit of placing users by default in an area without access to useful functions, forcing them to —in principle— not use them. For instance, an Android device can be connected to Internet without Wi-Fi or other wireless technology, with USB. Not useful in some circumstances? Speed, stability, security, debugging software and precaution with wireless devices to name a few. Configuring the GPS improves the fix and creates a truly independent device, an then no tracking or other dependencies. With privileges, the user can gain control of the device.

Android might be configured to avoid the aforementioned effects of companies trying to promote their interests without respect for ethics. That's a procedure, but everyone could analyze it, judge by themselves and act accordingly.

Now, the advices for optimization:

  • First of all it's necessary to gain privileges. The warranty shouldn't be void as any hardware must include methods to protect itself from software malfunctions and have a recovery protocol. It's disproportionate trying to charge a bad hardware design to others.

  • There are applications to monitor running background services, and Android provides methods to see running applications. After monitoring their behavior, it's time to decide if the application needs to be freezed, or uninstalled and replaced for another one with similar characteristics and more respectful functions.

  • Other applications clean cache data, unused apks (the format for applications), and in general data that can be deleted without consequences, gaining more space. So space it's not a reason for buying another model...

  • Uninstall unnecessary applications that were locked for it by default. Having something that it's not used consuming resources, especially battery time, it is also not really "smart" for those that think in "smartphones".

  • An obvious aspect is GPS, and wireless like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or any kind of function shouldn't be connected until is going to be used. That's a good advice to Android developers!

  • Monitoring the battery with software, also provides useful information to identify bad engineered applications consuming more than expected and search for another options.

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