Level 3: Applications

After the hardware level (level 1) and the system level (level 2), come’s the real fun stuff, the apps! With a marketplace growing bigger and bigger everyday, there are a lot of apps to choose from, each one bringing their own cool features and functionality to the table. But don’t let the structure of this write up confuse you, just because applications are level three (the last layer of the computer technology hierarchy structure), they can easily be responsible for draining your battery and/or limited system resources if you are un-aware what they are doing and the proper ways to configure them. The fundamental purpose of applications is to do something that otherwise wasn’t offered by the operating system alone, that is the very reason why we go out and buy/download apps, weather it be to play a fun game, edit our pictures, or login to our favorite social networking sites, apps let us do things that is why Droid Does! However by their very nature, applications are the leachers, because the only way our apps can do things for us is at the expense of our system resources. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t install apps, who cares how well your phone performs, if you don’t use it for anything… that’s just silly!


So what are the ways can we can improve overall system performance on the application level?

1. Make Educated App Selections

Careful app selection is great preemptive measure to take to avoid downloading and installing apps which really drain you system resources. Always review the comments and app rating before downloading/purchasing and also try and look for apps that serve multiple functions; if you can replace three apps with one, then that’s a great app! Any app that says it monitors something, or implies its actively running, is probably something you want to avoid downloading. Anything running actively in memory is something that is using system resources constantly. Besides apps that fetch data in the background, any app that is actively running will always appear in your status bar.


2. Don’t Run Any Apps That Do Things Your System Already Does On Its Own

Or better put, don’t use task killers. The way the android operating system manages its own memory is very unique and is nothing like the way Windows does it. On the android platform, apps that aren’t running actively in memory, actually use 0% of your system resources; instead they sit in a completely dormant state until they are called upon; that way, the next time they load, they will actually start up faster because they are already in memory, therefore killing them preemptively doesn’t improve your battery at all, in fact it wastes your system resources… why? – because the next time that app is loaded, it will have to first load itself back into memory and then run. Furthermore, android will automatically kill your low priority apps (those that are the last on your list of recently run apps) whenever it needs more memory. For these reasons, task killers are completely redundant and shouldn’t be used on the android platform whatsoever. The only circumstance where killing an app is acceptable is if it’s actively running in memory and you can’t get it to stop through normal means. To do this, simply use androids built in memory manager, which can be found by hitting the menu button > settings > applications > running services. You can even make a shortcut to this for quick access if you like, using as an app like ShorterCut or with the default shortcut options built into many of the popular Home Launcher Replacements, like launcherpro or go launcher.


3. Configure Your Apps For Better System Performance

Apps that actively run in memory or constantly fetch data from servers are the ones that are really going to drain your system performance. Check you app settings to see if you can reduce the frequency in which they fetch data from servers, this also applies to widgets, like your news/weather widgets. Consider uninstalling and replacing any apps you have that constantly run active in memory for no reason.
Tweak app settings that make your phone feel faster, like speeding up how fast your launcher opens your app drawer, or transitions between your various home screens. Its also recommend that you use apps like Spare Parts which will allow you to speed up how fast your transition animations occur. Changing applications settings like these, will really help to make your phone feel snapier and give you the true benefits of all your other system tweaks and and mods.