I owned a Galaxy S5 for two years before and exactly one year ago switched to an S7 which has satisfied me in terms of speed, performance and quality. As we all have experienced with different brands and models, the battery hasn’t given me the same performance that couple of months ago it did. I used to start the day with full battery and until I reached my desk at the office it would drop down to 50% only after 1,5 hours of SoundCloud streaming and social media scrolling. Since I have been suffering from motion sickness, these activities have never reached to an extensive level. Before deciding to switch to another phone (something with an apple logo on), I started looking around to find some solutions. Having been successful so far, I wanted to share some tips that may help you too get a better, longer and uninterrupted user experience.

Clean caches and history

These are what comes to one’s mind first because they cover lots of space and it doesn’t hurt when they are gone. Besides, there is always an option to recover; reinstalling.

Cached Data
This is a collection of information on how and when you have used applications on your mobile. I think neither it is very necessary nor vital. Only problem you may face is the some miliseconds of delay on starting the same page or application next time.

Follow Settings>Storage>Cached data and delete it without reading whatever the popup message has to say!

Picture thumbnails
There is a folder that stores all the thumbnail data of the taken photos by your phones camera as in the picture below,

Even if you have deleted them long ago thumbnail information is there, In my case, it was just 111 MB but i read that it might reach some GBs. In order to get rid of these bad boys, go to My Files>Device Storage>DCIM> and delete the .thumbnails folder. Immediately, create a new folder with the same name (.thumbnails). Otherwise, the system brings back the deleted file into the same folder. This way we fool the system for good!

Google history
I don’t like the idea of being traced by bots, That’s why, I delete as much as breadcrumbs I have left on the net. The first service comes to my mind of course is Google. I believe that the o’s in the brand name are a pair of eyes that follow all your activities!

Here is how to get rid of Open google search view, tap on the hamburger menu icon and reach to the following folder;
Settings>Accounts & privacy >My Activity

Filter to cover everything since the beginning and tap on Delete results on the skinny hamburger menu next to the search bar. Also there is another option called Other google activity which I am lazy right now to add another screenshot for (will do if someone requests). Clean the history there, too. Ahhh, what a relief!

This post is already longer than I have planned for . That’s why, I won’t be able to cover all other Google services, however, I want to remind you to visit Google Play and reach to the settings there to get rid of all the app download history and other acticities if you don’t have an excuse.

Disable or uninstall bloatware

I payed an application to do this job for me. It is called  ( let me check…) Package Disable Pro. It lists all the software with color codes that identifes the ones are needed and the ones not so much. According to the information on the application,

App name in BLACK: could disable if you are sure
App name in MAGENTA: are bloatware (Safe to disable)
Package name in RED: disabled package
Package name in GREEN: Installed apps

Tick the ones you think they won’t be needed. There is also an information below showing how much RAM was saved upon disabling an application.

Uninstall unnecessary apps

Most of the times, we just go the Google Play store and look around something to install out of boredom. After trying few times, we forget or don’t care about them.
Go through the list of applications on your phone and answer the following questions;

When did I use this application last time?
A) At least once in last 30 days
B) I don’t remember. Then, bye!

May I need this application in an emergency?
A) Yes
B) No. Then, arrivederci!

Can I install it back when I really need it?
A) No
B) Yes. Then, güle güle!

I managed to decrease the number of applications to 18 and took a note of the one which may be helpful later such as Smart Switch (only use case ıs when you want to swıtch to another Android device) aand Transferwise (when you need to transfer money to another country).

Simplify the user experience

Do you need all those fancy animations… while unlocking the phone, swiping between adjacent screens, when it starts snowing in your city? I don’t think you do. You don’t care about them after you get used to them anyway.

  • Uninstall the launcher with the thousands of wallpaper alternatives which you don’t bother yourself to update after first few days.
  • Only put the frequently used apps on the homescreen or neighboring panels. Keep the others on the Apps drawer.
  • Turn off location, WiFi, Bluetooth functions as long as you don’t need them at that moment.

Check my phone interface as an example;

I grouped all my apps in related folders and kept only one panel except the home screen which I use to see my Google Keep notes on the widget.

Use web or mobile versions of the same service

96% (yes, I calculated) of the apps asks for privacy information such as location, contacts, facebook profile, media, camera, mic, etc. before the installation. Why on Earth (and on Galaxy) does a currency converter application asks for access to the media on my phone anyway? I don’t sell friends and they worth more than this app can calculate! (clap! clap!) Get rid of all these small apps that Google provides the same service upon a search.

Recently uninstalled all the applications below since there is equally or almost as good web versions of each;

Quora, TED, Soundcloud, Dribbble, Kickstarter, Meetup, wikiHow, Duolingo, SlideShare, Medium, Coursera and Facebook. Facebook is a time killer and battery drainer. I kept the Messenger app anyway in case somebody needs to reach me. Plus, I use Instagram instead for the daily dose of cute animal caps/videos and updates from friends on what they ate recently alongside all creative posts from designers all over the world.

Now the trick!

I saved the web/mobile version of this applications as applications. Confused? Read along…

I added a shortcut icon for each application which opens the page of the service that I am most interested. Let’s take KICKSTARTER as an example,

First on Google Chrome, I logged in on the KickStarter webpage and filtered the Product Design projects under the explore menu.Then, clicked on the skinny hamburger menu icon on top right corner and chose the “Add to Home screen” option.

Doing this adds an icon on your Home screen of the phone which you can move whereever you want. In my case, I dragged it to my dedicated folder called ‘Learn”. If I click on the icon, it will open a new tab on my Chrome browser and the content of the page will be Product Design projects on Kickstarter as expected.

Here is how the mobile application icon and the shortcut icon looks like together

And below is how the Product Design page look like on each case ( The on on the left from the app, and the other one from the browser).

Do you see much difference?

Some services don’t have official apps on stores such as Dribbble. With this method I managed to turn the Dribbble website into an mobile application. Since I am most interested in new UI/UX designs, I set the page in a way that every time I tap on the Dribbble icon I get the latest posts on top.

Summary

At the end of all these effort I managed to double the battery life and the performance. Even though I use the phone as much as I did before, I don’t have to charge it in the office. And the switch between the applications and pages is much faster and lag-free.

Let me know if you have any questions or compliments by commenting or sending an email.