For Android (as well as for any other platforms), programs are constantly being released that promise to improve the system in one way or another: speed it up, make it more beautiful, upgrade some individual functions, and the like. And there is nothing surprising in the fact that such utilities are in great demand in app stores. More often than not, however, such programs do more harm than help (if they help at all). Now it is no longer a secret, but only for technology enthusiasts – ordinary users continue to fall into the traps of eloquent developers. In this article, which is just for the less tech-savvy people, we figure out which Android apps that promise to bring certain improvements should not be installed.
They are also called task killers, since the main functionality of such utilities is to forcibly unload background processes, thereby freeing up RAM. In theory, there is nothing wrong with this, but only for those who do not know the nuances. In practice, every time the “optimizer” unloads system background processes, Android is forced to restart them (if not immediately, then in the near future) – this is necessary for the correct operation of all functions. As a result, background processes remain, and the system spends additional resources to restart them. Task killers have become so popular that Google even blocked their features in Android 14.
💡 How to cope without them: the maximum that a user should do if they want to “unload” the system is to use the close all applications button in the multitasking menu. This will end all optional background processes, but it will not adversely affect the operation of Android.
Applications of this type are designed to free up memory from unnecessary files, and they really do. However, in most cases the benefit is negligible. For example, cleaning utilities erase duplicate pictures and documents, as well as the files of other applications remaining as a result of improper deletion – most often all this weighs no more than a few tens of megabytes in total. Clearing the cache is another popular feature, but this can degrade the performance of programs and increase resource consumption (applications will need to reload all the necessary data stored in the cache). In other words, “garbage cleaners” offer only what can be done manually, but at the same time they themselves often load the system (working in the background) and interfere with the functioning of other programs.
💡 How to cope without them: let the system work as it is programmed – when there is not enough memory, the cache will be cleared automatically. If you don’t want to let everything go to your will, you can clean it up manually. And if you resort to “garbage cleaners”, then only those that do not work in the background.
The habit of using antivirus was formed back in the days of older versions of Windows, which really lacked standard protection tools to fight malware. However, modern releases of both “windows” and Android are very well protected – both Google and Microsoft are interested in the security of their systems no less than antivirus developers. In addition, in modern Android without Root rights, either zero-day vulnerabilities or phishing applications are terrible – third-party antiviruses are practically unable to protect against both. Do not forget the fact that now there is Google Play Protect (roughly speaking, an antivirus built into Android), and some manufacturers preinstall their additional security systems into the firmware.
Third-party antiviruses can be treated as another layer of protection (albeit in most cases useless), but they constantly work in the background, and in a completely resource-sparing mode – these utilities significantly increase the load on the processor, RAM and battery.
💡 How to cope without them: trust the standard protective equipment and follow the basic rules of digital hygiene. Ideally, you still need to use only those smartphones that regularly receive security patches – this item is unlikely to induce you to abandon your current outdated device, but when choosing a new one, it is better to pay attention to the period of guaranteed support for updates.
Applications of this type can be called one of the biggest pests. They reduce screen brightness, close background processes, turn off power-intensive features (GPS, Bluetooth, and the like), and introduce other tweaks that can really reduce power consumption. But the catch is that Android can do all the same things and even more (and better): lower the clock speed of the processor and reduce the synchronization of applications. At the same time, “battery optimizers” work in the background, which in itself consumes battery power, and in some cases quite significantly.
💡 How to cope without them: trust the standard battery savers – modern versions of Android even have algorithms that analyze the user’s habits and adjust the system to suit him. In addition, you can use the battery saving function built into the firmware, it is in no way inferior to third-party applications.
Now there are practically no such applications on Google Play, but it’s impossible not to mention them – these are exclusively fake applications that create only a false appearance of work (often in order to show ads when opened). The reason is that utilities are technically unable to amplify the signal. Even if we assume that the Root program has access to control the modem and can really increase its power (as in cases when the smartphone is in a poor network coverage area and deliberately increases the power of the antennas for better communication), in practice this will lead to excessive battery consumption.
💡 How to cope without them: simply stop believing in applications with magical functionality – the manufacturer has already made sure that the modem works optimally.
Keyboards and emoji substitutes
There is nothing wrong with the idea of using third-party keyboards instead of the standard one, but only if you choose official applications from well-known companies like Google, Microsoft and Yandex. In the case of other developers without any reputation, there is a high risk that keyboards can spy on users and save everything they type (including logins and passwords). Such cybercriminals are usually targeted at children and attract them with unusual keyboard themes. The situation is similar with applications that replace standard emoticons with third-party ones.
💡 How to manage without them: choose keyboards only from well-known developers with a good reputation. In addition, well-known applications, as a rule, understand the context much better (for the predictive input function), work more stable and contain proprietary additional features (for example, a built-in search engine, translator, or emoji-based sticker generator).
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