(Guide) A complete maintenance guide to pretty much any android phone


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Nov 5, 2012
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This is a guide made ​​to with help from Xperia X10 users and developers for Xperia X10 users enjoyment but most of the tips contained here are suitable for any phone running Android. The tips contained here focus on WHAT to do to improve the performance of your phone and not HOW to do it, after all, once you know what must be done is to find simple tutorials on how to take these actions.

For some of the tips contained in this guide I assumed that you have just installed a new ROM or formatted / bought your phone recently and have root access but even without these prerequisites this guide can still be useful to most users.

It?s important to say that although most of the tips some are quite basic, some require a little more work and deal with the more delicate parts of your phone, they should be made ​​at your own risk. These more advanced tips often use very specific terminology which you can find more about on XDA Developers or even Google.

Finally I would like to remind that even machines that are made ​​within a few standards can operate in different ways: some phones take better advantage of certain adjustments and settings and not others so it?s impossible to guarantee one hundred percent efficiency for all of you but still I that you make good use of this guide.

Guilherme "XOT" Oliveira

- Install a good ROM and a good Kernel
Official ROMs are good but custom ROMs are usually faster and in many cases as stable as official ROMs. This is because ROMs are released and thereafter rarely change, custom ROMs are already made by developers who are constantly improving their job to get the most out of your phone. It's very important to research before installing a new ROM, searching always for the one that meets your expectations and relates well with your device since the same ROM can work very well on my x10 but not as well on x10 my brother?s for example.
The same goes for Kernels, but with Kernels take extra care to make sure that the Kernel is compatible with your desired ROM and your phone.

- Keep clean your caches
Caches are good to keep certain information and have access to these faster but with these files and information some "garbage" is stored .
The solutions to this can be pretty basic or advanced, the most basic way is to enter your Application Manager (Settings> Applications> Manage Applications) and clear the cache for each application. It is important to clear the cache only and not application data as these may be important such as the files that resemble your progress in a game. Already the most advanced solution is to clear the Dalvik Cache and Cache Partition through your recovery.
Both solutions don?t need to be made ​​with daily frequency, for example I usually clean my caches every 45 days or when I feel that the phone is getting slow.

- Make a full, but clean, backup
Full backups (full system backup) like those made ​​by recovery or nandroid are great to store complete setups but when they are done with ?dirty? files in the the phone?s memory restoring these files may worsen rather than help the situation of your device .
Ideally, do a full backup after completely configure your phone (configure your account, set your homescreens, install the required applications, etc.) but before using it for real.
That way if your phone starts getting slow and nothing works to reverse the situation you can easily go back to your ?original? settings without the hassle of customizing everything in its way again.

- Do not touch the CPU / GPU the first day
Like people, phones also take a while to adapt to a new environment, or in our case new ROMs, so during the first 24 hours of use is important to use the settings of CPU and GPU that came with the ROM, no overclock, undervolt and things like that.
Another important step in the process of adaptation to the new ROM is really using and exploring the device in this very first day so it "get used" to the change. Do not mind the battery consumption, that should stabilize after a few days.
It?s also iimportant to remember that some ROMs already comes with overclock, undervolt and improvements in battery usage. In this case there is no problem in using these settings from the first minute because if they are there since the installation of the ROM, it is because they are part of the default settings already programmed and develop on this particular ROM and it will work better this way.

- Use the maximum your battery
Batteries seem to last less and less as time goes on, in part this is because your battery is uncalibrated and there are ways to fix it.
I will not talk much on this subject because it is very easy to find guides that teach you how to calibrate your battery so I?ll just recommend that you take a look at them.

- Applications: less is more
Having millions of apps is the glory and the doom of smartphones, the glory because you can do everything on your device and doom because of the following reasons:
As a computer your phone also slows down the as it becomes full and in most cases you can blame it on the number of apps that you have installed on it. So try to leave installed only the applications you actually use and uninstall the ones that you no longer use so you can have more free memory and consequently a faster device.
Some applications can not be uninstalled because they are system applications; in order to remove those apps you are going to need uninstallers that have root access (ex: RootUninstaller) which are capable of removing these applications but before taking such a measure is necessary to look for a safelist (a list of applications that can be removed without causing system problems).
Keeping a low number of applications but doing so by installing and uninstalling new apps every day also usually let the machine slower so if you find an application for a specific function that fits your needs you should stay with it instead of testing another 10 before returning to it.
PS: A good way to avoid testing several applications before finding the right one is reading reviews and comments before making your choice.

- Repair defective applications
Often the phone is working fine but a certain application or function is not, which can cause slowdowns and FCs (force close); depending on the situation there is not much to do but some of these solutions may take care of the problem:
The first thing to do is to uninstall and reinstall the apps via Play Store to make sure that the problem was not caused by a corrupted file when you downloaded the application, if the problem persists there are some more advanced alternatives: in the advanced settings of your recovery select fix permissions, this function should make sure that every application has the necessary permissions to work properly.

- Keep some free space
Full memory is often a problem on any device, especially in older phones like ours, after all the more files the longer it takes read all these files if it is necessary, so the tip is this: the more free space the better.
This step seems a little redundant since we already talked about having the smallest possible number of applications but this time we are also talking about other files. Anything occupying space on your phone is "bad"; too many photos, songs, text documents, etc.. can make the phone slower and lets be honest, you do not need to carry 150 photos of your last weekend with you all the time.
A solution to this problem is simple, try to keep the memory of your phone as free as possible by eliminating caches, unused files and moving applications to the SD card (Settings> Applications> Manage Applications> choose the application and select Move to SD card or use apps like Link2SD); your SD card should also be kept clean by eliminating unused files and traces left by already uninstalled applications, such traces are sometimes hard to find and applications like SD Maid can help you eliminate much of this "junk".

- Avoid keeping some applications running all the time
It?s very common to close an application and assume that it stopped running on the system but this is not always the case because it actually still cached in the memory of the device, Android makes it to be faster on reopening it later and often the system itself definitively closes the application automatically but that?s not always the case.
Firstly it is important to prevent certain applications from even opening and to do this we use apps known as Startup Managers, there are several options in the Play Store but I particularly like Autostarts. Once inside your Startup Manager you can choose which applications will be opened as the system is started or any action is taken (for example changing the state of your Wi-Fi); the ideal is to minimize the number of self-starting applications, leaving only the truly necessary ones without forgetting to be very careful to avoid stopping system applications because if they are unable to open themselves it can cause instability. Another way to prevent applications from opening or stay on cache all the time is to disable automatic updates of apps such as email clients and social networks but this is a more personal matter that varies from user to user, just remember that the more constant the updates are, the more time these applications will be running in the background and more power (CPU and battery) will be consumed.
Now that we?ve already took care of the self opening apps it?s time to find out when you really need an app to be closed for sure.
It's easy to know when to quit an application completely but it is necessary to first understand a basic concept about the system: applications and processes cached in memory are not always a bad thing, in fact as stated at the beginning of the topic they are a good thing because the application should open faster when launched again (hence the use of Task Killers usually worsens more than help if not done properly) but if you use an application to view the weather every morning and will only use it again the next morning this application can be closed without problems.
In our current official version of Android (2.3) already have a task manager that can be used to do this action (Settings> Applications> Running services > select the desired process and press Stop) but if you want a more advanced option there are several Task Managers that monitor processes and can be used to close them too.
PS: Again about the Task Killers: although its use is discouraged for the day-to-day because of the reasons already explained, if you plan on haevy gaming they can be the great saviors since these games need a lot of free memory to run without lags.

- SMS: clean your inbox
Message apps, both native and third-party tend to take quite some time to open if you have many messages on your mobile because everytime you run your message app it needs to load a large list of conversations, so cleaning your inbox periodically helps performance, the same goes for call log.
A tip for those who want to clear the messages inbox and call log without losing your information is backing up with applications like SMS BackUp + that emails you both your conversations and call logs, all within a specific marker so they won?t end up messing the inbox of your email or if your intention is to save only one or two most important message the native client and most ones available at Play Store have the option of forwarding SMS, simply by holding your finger over until the action menu opens up.

- Give your device a break
Like conventional systems for computers, Android also collects information in its memory and despite the ?dumping information system? some of it is left in cache , which ends up requiring more processing on your device.
To end this there is a very simple solution: give a rest to the phone. Once a day or when you feel like the machine is running slow give it a reboot or shut down and leave it off for a minute or two before restarting, it should get rid of the cache and it can boost the speed of the phone, but attention: restart the machine and making it open up various apps on boot has no point so keep your boot clean (see related topic).

- About some specific applications:
- Task killers (that goes for any app of this kind) are good for a heavy gaming experience (eg: GTA, Dead Space, Asphalt...) because those games need a lot of free RAM but for everyday use is preferable to don't use task killers and keep some of the apps in the cache so they open faster when they are requested again.
- Deep sleep is an important part of the ROM performance when it comes to battery usage, applications like CPU Spy can check if this function is working correctly or No-frills CPU Control which in addition to monitoring provides the ability to adjust the frequencies and governors you want to use in your phone.
- Chainfire3D is an useful app to change the way your GPU will work and customize it to gain performance or quality , notice that these values ​​tend to be inversely proportional.
- Try always to use the lightest possible applications, it helps in memory. I for one think the galleries and music players of almost all default ROMs are too heavy and prefer apps like QuikPic and UberMusic.

Finally I would like to thank: XDA Users: Oodie, x10forevers, Vasishta Reddy, DiKeJ, 9Lukas5, FeraVolt, alzbac, Websites: lifehacker.com, limitlessdroid.com , doctor-android.com, androidcentral.com for helping with the tips on this guide and say that if you have a tip that is not in this guide feel free to share with us!

PS: I'm sorry if I made some grammar mistakes, English is not my first language and this is a pretty big article.

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