There are two types of smartphone users- those who cling on to their phones for several years before deciding to upgrade and the other who are used to the annual upgrade cycle, replacing their devices with new ones as soon as the older ones start acting up. For those who prefer keeping their phones for long periods, it is absolutely essential to keep their phones up-to-date and well-oiled to ensure longevity doesn’t impact real-time performance.
If you’re in love with your smartphone and are not planning on replacing it anytime soon, there are several ways you can keep your phone up and running and avoid obsolescence from kicking in. Here are a few simple tips which are easy to follow and are most effective at keeping older smartphones going
Slim it down
We love having lots of apps on our phones, many of which we used for some time before losing interest. Many of such apps continue to take up space in our phones and run in the background, thus slowing down our phones. Storage space is precious, and users must ensure that there’s always several gigs of space left in their device’s internal storage. This is because new apps need free space to run smoothly and cache data, and if there’s no space, your phone starts to hiccup when it comes to performance. At the same time, too much cached data isn’t ideal either. If you use a lot of apps, you should ensure that you delete app cache at least once a month from your phone. While this may affect app performance only intermittently, it’ll free up a lot of space for new apps, music, and pictures.
Back it up
It’s a natural tendency for people to take hundreds of pictures and shoot dozens of videos during a trip and then forget all about it afterwards. Such images and videos continue to linger on in smartphones, taking up valuable storage until users realise there isn’t enough space to save new apps or files. If you have lots of pictures and videos saved in your phone, you should back them up to Google Photos as often as you can. This has two benefits; first, if your phone is stolen or damaged, your photos are safe. Second, having the photos in the cloud means you can remove them from the phone, freeing up space.
Also Read: How to save mobile data and minimise waste
Update at all times
New operating system and app updates often bring in fixes for performance issues and add more layers of security around your data. It is often the case that older OS versions and apps are most vulnerable to cyber-attacks, which is why security firms around the world suggest users install app and OS updates as soon as they are available. Doing this will not only keep your phone updated with the latest software, but will also help you get rid of performance issues you may have faced due to glitches in older versions. Staying up to date only secures your phone from bugs, but these generally also come with performance improvements.
Animations make your phone’s operating system and windows look more fluid, attractive and intuitive, but at the same time, they do take up a dedicated chunk of processing power. With several apps running in the background at the same time, animations may slow down your phone and put a lot of stress on the processor as well. To avoid this, you need to disable animations by enabling developer options in settings. This can be done by tapping 7 times on the build number under the ‘About phone’ menu. Once developer options are enabled, you need to click on ‘Window animation scale’ and choose ‘Animation off’ in the resulting window. You will notice a marked improvement in your phone’s performance after performing this task.
If you couldn’t be bothered with tinkering with the insides of your phone, there are a number of third-party apps that will help you optimise the OS environment. Apps such as CCleaner, Droid Cleaner and the likes take care of all the junk files, optimise RAM and even notify you of apps which might be slowing your phone down. If you’re going to use one of these apps, we strongly recommend that you choose one with the highest rating and the best user feedback.
Bonus Tip: Custom ROMs
This one is not for the faint of heart, but getting a custom ROM onto your phone can be one of the best ways to breathe new life into it. Of course, not every smartphone model developers making custom ROMs for them. We’ve managed to keep a Nexus 5X and a OnePlus 2 in very usable condition all thanks to custom ROMs. Your phone may not suddenly score big numbers on benchmarks, but they will definitely perform well in the day to day tasks.
While these few tips will help you extend the life of your smartphone (and the environment will thank you for it), there will eventually come a time when you will have to upgrade your phone. Don’t sweat it, we have a handy guide that will help you figure out if its time to upgrade your smartphone or not.