Tuning and tweaking Android devices.

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Tuning and tweaking Android devices.

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-03-15 04:52

Still blows my mind holding a mini-computer in my hand. This cheapy Android device I've got puts many a desktop I had to shame, a quad-core proc, even my old laptop is a dually, all things being equal phone with more cores should have some minor advantage with multiprocess/threaded activities ! Anyway getting back on point some of the main things I've found in terms of tuning Android for better battery life and general performance.

Screen brightness, mine is down to 14% works perfectly, this is a big culprit in draining mobile devices battery's. I disable sync'ing with things like Google services, in the apps settings section, remove or disable unwanted apps, in the Network/data settings put apps I don't want on restriction so they can't use data in the background and also limit or kill off any frivilous wifi-scanning and roaming possible. When it comes to apps, I believe fewer is better, many of them like task-managers, monitoring, battery savers etc think actually just end up draining someone's battery faster. They may kill off apps, which then just turn around and reload anyway and for something like CCleaner which I was fond of it when I was using Windows, it's a disk cleaning deal, noticed it was using 60avg-100@times-mbs of memory and that's ridiculous for something I don't need to do very often.

Can just install/use and remove it occasionally and well behaved apps such as browsers already have settings to clear caches/cookies/history etc. Firefox mobile does a mobile browser I like named Lightning does too. I use Lightning majority of the time for web browsing in Android. Really light ( in terms of sys overhead and bandwidth) and fast, plenty of features and user friendly too.)When comes to mobile browsers, I do tend to leave javascript disabled, block images when appropriate to save data and boost speed, block tracking and disallow 3rd party cookies. I turn off frivilous vibrations/sounds in Android, of course that's just a preference. Don't need a buzz/vibe or ding sound every time I push a button ... dialing a phone number. That little motor that cause the device to vibrate takes a tad of juice to work. I also set a pitch black home screen and app-drawer wallpaper, which doesn't do anything for battery on LCD phones, I just like the look, a hangover from #!(Crunchbang gnu/Linux)days but it does on devices with emoled screens. It's also said and makes sense that minimizing home screen widgets is good juju for conserving battery juice in Android. I also tend towards keeping as few screens on home screen as possible (ideally only one) vs having a ton of the things.

The big reason for posting on this though, enabling Developer Options is really, really cool. You trackdown in settings (found in About Phone) where it shows the version of Android running on the device, tap that 7 times in rapid succession and it'll add a new settings category for "Developer Options" to your device. Doing so provides quite a few new settings to tune/tweak and these are some of those I like the most. It let's me choose a default action for when a usb is plugged, ie: I chose MTP File transfer, whereas on my phone this is something I'd have to set/choose every time and was annoying. Provides some cool tools for looking at Memory usage, running and cached processes, what's included in it could actually replace a stand-alone app someone may be using for the purpose.

Of course not all apps are created equal, some are bound to be better behaved, allowing for them to be easily disabled between uses, using less resources for the same function/features, whether it be keyboard, default launcher ... whatever else. Something else I like about developer options settings, you can disable or turn down animations, window animation scale, transition animation scale and Animator duration scale. I choose to disable all of them and the device is faster as a result. Don't have a bunch of animations I don't care about popping up in windows, home screen or start/shutdowns. There's another where someone can limit the number of background processes, can set it so only 4 max are allowed. The phone was noticeably snappier after setting this to only 4 but didn't want it to be a situation as described above, where processes are getting snuffed, only to turn around and start again, resulting in a viscious battery draining cycle, also don't want to risk adversely affecting the basic functions of the device, ie: A phone, it's good to be sure it will ring and receive incoming calls, unless explicitly set otherwise.

There's a bunch of interesting settings to play around with in Developer Options. One which will allow the bootloader to be fiddled with, oddly on this carrier locked phone, Developers options tells me the bootloader on it is already unlocked. Some can no doubt cause a person headaches and hassles but shouldn't be anything not easily reversed regardless exercising a tiny tad of common sense. After tuning as described, removing apps like CCleaner other task managers type appage, optimizers etc which were just hogging device resources and draining my battery for little benefit, I freed up 120mbs-ram or more. After this general Android dorkage in total also doubled my screen time (when you're actually doing something like browsing etc) as relates to battery drain, used to drain at a rate of 20% per hour of screen time, now it's at or around only using 10%. This is a non-rooted device and I don't feel like bothering to root it. Phone is running much lighter, battery charge lasts much longer and device has smoothier and speedier performance for not much effort invested.

Android is hella-cool and keep meaning to mess with it to greater extent. That lil thing in your hand can do practically anything/everything any other computer form factors can handle nowadays. It's ridiculous, amazing stuff. Gradually trying to move more into the area and see what all really awesome junk someone can do with a mobile device. Did install an FTP server on Android, so I can transfer files to/from via wifi on the thing with sftp or SSH without need of bothering with usb cords. Haven't bothered fully getting it setup as of yet. If someone would like to share some of their Android tips, tricks, appage they've found that works really well. Etc and so forth, by all means do. :)
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Re: Tuning and tweaking Android devices.

Postby reinob » 2020-03-16 06:49

Deb-fan wrote:If someone would like to share some of their Android tips, tricks, appage they've found that works really well. Etc and so forth, by all means do. :)


I highly recommend running, at some point during startup "/system/bin/dumpsys deviceidle disable all" (as root).
This will prevent Android from randomly killing apps not using the Google notification system.
Think IMAP idle (typical problem when using K-9 or -- much better -- Fairemail), or ssh server, etc.

This, and installing termux, is about the best tip I can give.
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Re: Tuning and tweaking Android devices.

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-03-17 06:05

Don't want to even attempt with rooting it. Supposedly with every new release Android gets better as is with memory, service and system management. Obviously when getting into rooting devices getting into much greater odds of harder to reverse breakage. Am guessing many devices people consider "bricked" are easy enough recovered by folks who know what they're doing, though folks who brick their stuff don't bother learning enough to be one of those. Had one rooted phone and battery life Improvement post root was ridiculously better. Forgotten most of what was learned about the process. Was Android v 4.x or something. Still interesting but am just happy with the gains given with tuning what's easy, in available settings. Many times rooting involves tracking down/using a shady app from an untrusted source, that's already getting off to a really bad and/or stupid start in anything tech.

There's another setting in developer options of possible interest, along the lines of "always maintain mobile data connection, even on wifi" The phone always doing that/those scans for cell towers no doubt eats up plenty of juice too. Atm set it to off, will have to play with it and see. If it doesn't disrupt basic device function (a phone doing what a phone does)will leave it off.

Edit: To tell the truth, much of what I'd attributed to having rooted that phone may have been the same tuning done w/o bothering. Phone says last full charge was almost 23hrs ago, still almost 13 estimated remaining but only 3 1/2hrs screen time. Device is definitely lighter and more responsive too. Still can be valid reasons for rooting, am sure it has potential but quick tuning can clearly go a long way w minimal risks.
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Re: Tuning and tweaking Android devices.

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-07-26 01:53

Dorkish update:

If the true goal is unlocking Android's fullest potential, then rooting would have to be considered essential. Things like installing custom ROM's (versions of Android people create and circulate), adding custom kernels or system tweaks which cannot be done on un-rooted devices (or unlocked root appropriate ones), getting rid of bloatware in official versions of Android, which Google Inc and OEM's (original equipment manufacturers) or phone carriers bundle into whatever versions of Android comes on the device out-of-box. Upgrading a given device to latest Android version too. Though really in order to do any of that even remotely correctly, would have to involve someone learning A LOT about the Android OS and the hardware it comes on.

Personally am still too busy trying to learn about gnu/Linux and all the amazing things that can be done with it on more conventional form factors (desktop etc.) Thought of even trying to do a 1/2 decent job of getting into Android makes my brain want to come crawling out of my ears and run away. :D

It's still cool knowing that any Android device can be tweaked for much better performance and battery life between charges, just by fiddling around with easily available control settings. As I'd outlined above there and this dirt cheap Android device does have an unlocked bootloader, a big part of whether or not a device can have a custom ROM flashed to it !!! So it's basically giving me the finger and saying ROOT ME, ROOT ME ... install a custom ROM ya puzzy !!! You aint got a drop of manhood in you if ya don't, dork !!! Errrr though so far have and hopefully will continue to resist it's taunts and now that I'm thinking about it, apparently my Android phone is really mean and hurtful too. :D

Share the hard won Android knowledge people!? :)
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Re: Tuning and tweaking Android devices.

Postby NFT5 » 2020-07-26 14:43

Deb-fan wrote:giving me the finger and saying ROOT ME, ROOT ME


:lol: :lol: :lol: In Australia this has a completely different meaning to what you intended. Cracked me up.

More seriously, I edit app permissions heavily, turn off location tracking and mobile data unless I'm out of range of work or home wifi and actually need it. On a phone that is a couple of years old I'm still getting up to 3 days between charges. An ad blocker also helps reduce unwanted downloads and Malwarebytes for some measure of security. I use my notebook and/or desktop for heavier use and email.
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Re: Tuning and tweaking Android devices.

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-07-26 22:09

^ Thanks for the add. What does giving of finger mean in Australia? Googled and found some weird/interesting stuff about how common gestures can mean different things in other countries/cultures. :)

Am sure that combo has similar adult/graphic interpretations here in the states too. Errr fingers and errr root me, errr. :P Get ya mind outta the gutter people, we're discussing Android! Sheesh. :D
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Re: Tuning and tweaking Android devices.

Postby NFT5 » 2020-07-27 06:20

The finger means the same, or near enough.

Back on topic. I have a habit of shutting down apps when I'm done. With some messaging apps that may mean that I don't get messages when they're turned off, but the battery savings are worthwhile.
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Re: Tuning and tweaking Android devices.

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-07-27 15:58

NFT5 wrote:I have a habit of shutting down apps when I'm done. With some messaging apps that may mean that I don't get messages when they're turned off, but the battery savings are worthwhile.

https://xkcd.com/1965/
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