Optimizing Your Android Devices for Maximum Performance

Till now on our journey we Rooted Androids, installed custom ROMs, Flashed kernels, etc. Now thing is this: No ROM will give you max performance without little tweaking. Not even a stock one.

So, here we will see some basic steps to optimize your android phone. This post is written on base of X10 Mini Pro, Galaxy Y and Live with Walkman android phone but it is applicable nearly on all androids. Many of things and apps may not match exactly with your phone as all tweaks are merged to write it step wise.

I am assuming that your phone is rooted as without this you couldn’t have installed custom ROM. Even if you are on Stock ROM; root is required to proceed.

Remember the aim is here (with coming steps) is to:
– Get unwanted apps out.
– Get wanted apps in User Apps (RAM memory) instead of ROM if those apps can be moved.
– Many times I delete apps from System ROM and again install them from market as it gets installed to RAM and frees up my System ROM.
– Use advanced options to tweak phone’s hardware.

STEP 1: Removing Unwanted Apps in System area. (not all may be seen on your phone)

There are always many apps installed as ‘System Apps’, for which we neither care to use and nor know their use. System Apps are installed in System ROM (not RAM. This one is different memory). This memory when low causes slowdowns and lags. You will need apps like Titanium Backup Root (paid) – preferable, Root uninstaller (free), Easy uninstaller (free) etc. Install whichever you like and then start.

Taking backup of all apps first is your responsibility. After backup, start removing apps which you don’t want. Remember you don’t need to remove all of them. If you want to keep some then you can try moving them to RAM in step 2. I removed following from my MINICM7 Custom Rom;

1. Voice Search, Voice Dialer.
2. TTS Service, PicoTTS
3. SIM toolkit (when you remove this your network will go away for some 10 sec and will come back)
4. Peggles and other Games. Remove all the games you don’t want (trial versions etc which came with phone)
5. Pico TTS
6. Market Feed, Market updater (if you have PlayStore upgraded this may crash Google Apps sometime)
7. Google search (I don’t use it), Geotags.
8. Email (I only use Gmail), Exchange services (needed for above Email app)
9. Cyanogenmod Update notifications (If you remove this; the CM Update menu in settings will not work. Not a big deal actually)
10. CMstats (Don’t need it), Syscontrol widget (I installed better Widget as User Apps from Market)
11. DigiClock, Downloads (it is just a shortcut on menu to access Download Folder on SD card).
12. OrangeHaze, MagicSmoke Wallpaper, Bubbles, Music Visualization Wallaper, Andoird Live Wallpaper. (useless stuffs for me if they are in System Area). WARNING: Don’t remove ‘LiveWallpaperPicker.APK’ if you want to use other live wallpapers.
13. Android Assistant, Music Player and DSP (I use PowerAmp player).
14. TimeScape. I think it is baddest of all. It has 3 APKs and all in System Area. They keep running all the time. Useless for me. So I removed all of them. Gave my phone a good boost.
15. TrackID, PlayNow. Another memory hog. Total 4 Files (3 of PlayNow).
16. NeoReader. Get another barcode reader from Market. Remember the aim.

Many others depending on your phone and need.

Restart the phone when you are done.

STEP 2: Converting Required System Apps to User Apps. (not all may be seen on your phone)

Remember the AIM no.2. Many apps don’t need to be in system area to work but by default they are their when you get a new phone, flash new ROM, Factory reset it.

Examples of such apps are:

– Gmail, Email, All social networking apps, all stock games, Maps and Navigators, Google Voice and Search etc

I already wrote an article long back on this. This functionality is only achievable using Titanium Backup. That’s why it this app is best.

Restart your phone.

STEP 3: Battery Optimizing and Battery Saving on Android.

There is simple rule more apps running means more battery consumption. However, killing more running apps, wiping and freeing RAM & ROM also means more battery drain ( Don’t trust me? Keep reading). First two steps above will help your battery to get more life.

STEP 4: Optimizing Processors and Cache (Advanced method, Many steps applicable to Custom ROMs)

If you have stock ROM without Root then you are not lucky in this section as the methods detailed needs advanced options as in Custom ROMS and other hardware clocking which needs Root access.

If you have a Stock ROM with Root then you can simply search for Processor overclocking apps from the market. Download the most compatible one for your phone and use it. Remember to research first as there are some settings which are very specific. You shall never overclock above the safe limit told by other users.

If you have a Custom ROM like CyanogenMod then you can tweak it to higher limits without installing apps. This involves Processor overclocking, increasing heap sizes, reducing animations, activating purging etc right from the settings.

Here are some settings for CM7 users. I have given some specific settings for Xperia series. Wherever said settings should be selected as suitable to your phone. ‘Google.com’ is your friend.

1. Settings –> Display –> Animation. Select No Animations.
2. Settings –> CyanogenMod:: (sub-options)
* Interface –> Overscroll Effect –> Set None.
* Lockscreen –> Style options –> Lockscreen style –> Select Sliding Tab
* Performance –> Scrolling cache –> Select Force Disable
* Performance –> Disable the option called ‘Enable surface dithering’.
* Performance –> Scrolling cache –> Select Force disable
* Performance –> Enable ‘Allow purging of Assets’
* Performance –> SD Card Cache size and select as you wish. For Xperia Mini Series 4096KB is good.
* Performance –> VM heap size and select as per your requirement. For Xperia Mini Series 48M is good.
* Performance –> CPU Settings –> Available governors –> Select smartassV2 (if installed): PROCEED WITH CAUTION
* Performance –> CPU Settings –> Min CPU frequency. Select as suitable to your phone. For Xperia Mini Series 19MHz is good.
* Performance –> CPU Settings –> Max CPU frequency. Select as per your phone. For Xperia Mini Series 768 MHz is good enough.

3. ChainFire 3D: Install it from market. It is GPU controller. Set limits as per your phone. Even rooted phone on Stock kernel and ROMs can use it.

NOTE: In CM9 not all settings are available.

I think this is where optimization and tweaking guide completes. To just check all these mess worked or not you can run quadrant and speed tests by getting apps from the market. I hope you don’t end up killing your phone. Take care.


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