“Built-in obsolescence” was a term that has surfaced a few years ago, and angered an entire generation of consumers. According to the concept, items – especially electronics – are planned in a way that they are no longer usable within a few years after their release. This is not a very big issue in the case of affordable electronics but when it comes to more expensive appliances – and smartphones, that tend to be pretty pricey – this can be a burden. While it hasn’t been officially confirmed that built-in obsolescence is actually a policy smartphone makers use but the fact remains: our phones start to misbehave, slow down, and become more annoying than useful within a few years from their release.
Almost like trying to convince us to replace them with a newer model. But there are a few tricks that can turn your phone into a far less annoying and far more usable device, good for at least a few more months or even a year – time that you can use to set some cash aside and buy a better replacement phone. Here they are.
The Android ecosystem is very fragmented, meaning that there are active smartphones out there running a vast variety of Android OS versions, many of them with a hardware far slower than today’s “standard”. The providers of the most-used services know this, and they have come to support the users of these lesser smartphones with lightweight versions of their apps. This makes optimize the apps on your phone much easier: simply remove the full features version and install the “lite” one. You’ll find lightweight alternatives to Facebook, Messenger, and Skype in the Play Store, among others. These take up less space, use less RAM, and are overall faster, making your phone more usable in the long run.
A factory reset does wonders
Android, just like Windows, gets “clogged” after the repeated app installs, uninstalls, cleanups, and such. Thus, it’s a good idea to do a factory reset on your phone from time to time – it is almost like re-installing Windows on your PC. A clean install will clean up all the garbage left behind by the apps, giving you a smoother, more enjoyable experience – at least for a while.
Use fewer apps
Last but not least, here is something that you might have not even considered: uninstall the apps you don’t – or just hardly – use on your phone. There is a piece of software that can help you pinpoint these smartphone apps: Google’s own “Files Go”. The app will take a good look at all the things on your memory card and phone storage, clean up the leftover pieces of data, tell you which apps you haven’t used in a long time, and even help you move all your photos and videos from your internal storage to your memory card. Thus, your phone will have a lot more space and this will make it much more usable.
And when the time comes, and you have the cash for it, you can replace your phone with an actual model, knowing that the one you gave up has served you well – and for a long enough time.