Using a phone right after unboxing it can be one of the most satisfying feeling. Right out of the box, it works extremely smooth, however, as you proceed to download a few apps and continue using it for a few days, you might notice it slowing down. Apps take time to open up and your battery stops lasting you throughout the day. If this is something that you can relate to, it is probably due to apps running in the background. Background apps drain your phone’s capacity to work at its best. This might be due to some apps not being optimized well enough or due to some kind of a malware. However, there are a couple of things that you can do to fix this situation.
Upgrade to Android Oreo!
The first and the most important thing that you should do (if you haven’t already), is, update your phone to Android 8.0 Oreo. Android Oreo is by far one of the best android versions as it has greatly optimized battery life. Its new API helps in limiting background apps to a great extent. Limiting background apps makes sure that your battery lasts much longer. This feature is called ‘Background Execution Limits’. This prevents apps from running in the background and looking for updates unnecessarily. Instead of constantly running in the background, the apps now check updates scheduled at a particular time. This uses up way lesser battery and processing power.
Controlling and disabling background activity
Moreover, you can take this process further and restrict background activity even more for apps that are misbehaving. However, there is one downside to this. Disabling the background activity for some apps might lead to it not functioning as expected. Android Oreo equips you with a variety of monitoring apps that help you in gaining control of your processes.
Step 1 – Figuring out what is using up your RAM
- Before you get started, in most Android phones, you will have to enable developer options.
- This is how you can enable developer options. Go to Settings ->About phone. You have to constantly tap on build number for about seven to eight times and you will receive a notification saying ‘developer options’ have been unlocked.
- After this, you need to look for a setting called ‘Process Stats’ or ‘Processes’ depending on which company made your phone. For this, you can go to settings -> developer options -> processes OR settings -> developer options -> running services (once again, depending on what smartphone you are using). This will enable you to view a list of running processes and how much RAM they’re using.
Step 2 – Figuring out the right apps to block
- A general rule of thumb should be that you must not block any app that is marked as ‘google services’ or starts with ‘Google’.
- Then the next thing to do would be to look through the list and kill apps that are unnecessarily running in the background (eg – social media apps, music players, etc).
- To stop an app manually, go to Settings -> developer options -> ‘Running services or ‘processes’ and tap the Stop button.
- You might also want to ‘Force stop’ or Uninstall apps you are not really using. For this, head over to settings -> applications -> application manager and select the app that you want to force stop or uninstall.
Restricting problematic apps for the future
Some apps have a higher demand than others, however, it is up to you to decide what apps should get priority and what apps should not. Nowadays, a lot of phones have inbuilt options that enable you to manage applications better. For instance, Samsung offers an effective ‘power-save mode’ that equips you to identify apps that are causing trouble, restrict its launching frequency and use various other power saving measures. Huawei has another similar option called ‘Launch’ in its smartphones. However, if your phone does not have such an option, you can download a third-party app designed to carry out a similar function. One app that has been an all-time favourite of ours is ‘Greenify’. It enables you to have much more control over your app and allows you to place specific apps in hibernation. Greenify allows you much more flexibility on a rooted smartphone, however, even on smartphones that have not been rooted, it works pretty well.
Android 8.0 Oreo has already done an extremely good job in terms of restricting background apps and optimizing battery life. With Android P, your smartphone will get even better in the optimization department. The Android P update will make sure that idle background apps are not able to access the microphone or the camera. This is not only important for the overall functioning of your smartphone but also for security reasons. A new ‘Adaptive Battery’ feature will also be coming out with the update which Google claims will provide a 30% reduction in CPU wake-up calls.
There might never be a time when your phone will be fully optimized. The reason for this is because apps are constantly created and modified, and there will be times when an app is not fully optimized by the developer. Your phone might slow down due to these few apps that have not been fixed yet. This is where you can take control. Using the steps that we have shown you, you can monitor and regulate your apps better. You now have the ability to kill unwanted activity in your smartphone.