10 Ways to Improve Smartphone Performance

Thursday, January 5, 2017 by Mikey Anderson

We know all too well that our smartphones aren't indestructible.  During the life cycle of a phone, there are undoubtedly going to be issues such as deteriorating battery life and slow performance brought down by many different factors.

As such, there really isn’t much we can do to prevent our smartphones from giving up on us at some point, as both electronic and physical parts will start to fail over time with continued use.  But fret not; there are plenty of things you can do to ensure your smartphone is working at its best.

With this in mind, here’s 10 quick tips developed by device diagnostics experts at Blancco, which you can try to improve performance and make the most out of your battery life and fix common problems:

Battery life: Most modern devices use Lithium-Ion batteries, which work best if they’re kept charged between 50-80%.  It’s therefore healthier for your battery to be topped up in small bursts throughout the day as opposed to one long charge from empty (contrary to what most of us do and leave it on charge every night!). Make sure you’re only using official chargers too – unapproved third party versions could cause damage to your battery and recent findings suggest they can be extremely dangerous.

App cache: Optimize app functionality and speed by clearing the app cache/ temporary files on your device.  You can also tidy up open or cached apps by closing them down if they are running in the background.  Research has shown that 44% of performance issues on Android handsets are due to cached or open apps, so it’s worth taking a moment to close down what you’re not using.

Camera functionality: You can improve camera functionality by freeing up your device storage. The best way of doing this is to regularly move photos and videos to cloud storage services such as iCloud or Google Photos, rather than keeping them saved to your device (doubles as a good backup strategy to prevent data loss).

Signal problems: If you’ve got problems with your network signal, aside from checking your SIM is properly inserted, check to make sure there are no issues with your account or network coverage in your area.  While it’s unlikely to be an issue, you can also check your provider’s website or social media accounts to make sure there are no widespread network outages.

Anti-virus apps: Avoid installing multiple anti-virus applications.  Having lots of them won’t make your device more secure but it will certainly eat into your device storage and use up more of your battery life.

SD cards: Having issues reading external storage such as SD cards?  If you’re using a new SD card for the first time, check that the format is suitable for your device. Check the condition of the card slot for dust or damage in addition to the physical condition of the card itself.  If there’s no visible damage, you can try connecting it to a computer running a DIY software tool to get the data off.

Device shutdown: Consider shutting down your device completely at least once a week.  This will help to refresh the operating system and help to keep it running optimally (even technology needs a break sometimes!)

Touch screen: If your touch screen is unresponsive or starts responding slowly, try cleaning your screen using the method recommended by your manufacturer (for example, here’s what Apple suggests).  You can also try to restart your device and clear out any temporary internet files, cookies and browser history.

Auto-focus: Sometimes third party photography apps such as Instagram will cause the auto-focus feature on your device camera to fail.  Try removing the app from your device to resolve the problem. It’s also worth checking that your camera lens is clean from any dirt or dust.

Data usage: Turn off the “mobile data” feature for non-essential apps to improve the overall life of your battery and reduce data usage.  Automatic app updates over mobile data is likely to eat into your data allowance, however most devices will have the option of doing this over Wi-Fi only.  You can also check if your mobile browser has a ‘data-saver’ setting and avoid downloading large files when you’re using mobile data (from emails, WhatsApp, etc.). With these simple tips you can make sure your smartphone keeps working in tip top condition, or at least until your next upgrade!

Click here to read the original infographic by Blancco.