Various means exist for you to boost your device and enjoy faster downloads, GPS results, battery charging and even general day-to-day performance. As you have seen before it is possible to underclock and undervolt your Android to encourage longer battery life; overclocking can push your device to its physical limits. How much of a speed increase you gain from Android really depends on how far you want to go. Overclocking is at the extreme end of such tweaks, but you might prefer to focus on reconfiguring Android based on the native settings.
For instance, disabling live wallpaper can speed things up, while ensuring you download over Wi-Fi rather than mobile internet will also provide good results. Similarly, dropping rarely used widgets from your home screen can help, as can limiting or disabling background data (Settings>Data usage, tap menu, uncheck Auto-sync data).
There are also benefits in switching to a new app launcher, one optimised for speed such as Lightning Launcher, free from Google Play. Tweaking the kernel is a tactic that can be used in conjunction with overclocking. There are various root apps that you can employ for this, such as Android Overclock. However, if you’re using a custom ROM then there is a good chance that you already have the tools.
How to overclock Android Device
- Install Android Overclock on a rooted device with a kernel that supports overclocking. Launch the app then select CPU Frequency Scaling.
- To overclock, increase the Max slider by a single step, setting the Governor to ondemand and saving. Restart Android to test the results and repeat.
- Once you’ve found the highest working speed for your CPU, use a stress testing tool to establish whether you need to reduce the clock slightly.
Charge the battery faster
Sometimes it seems as though your smartphone will never charge. Whether you’re waiting for it to top up before a night out, or have it hooked up to the car battery, charging never seems to be fast enough. Using approved charging hardware and cabling can help, but for the best results you should be looking at something like Fast Charge. As long as the custom ROM or kernel you’re using has support for fast charging, your waiting is very much over. Fast Charge requires root permission, so when you first run the app you will need to assign this.
Get quicker GPS fixes
If you’re using satnav apps on your phone or have trouble getting a reliable reading from the native GPS software, there are several fixes that you can consider making to your device. Before considering third-party apps (the best available on the Play store require root), open up Settings>Location and switch the Mode to High accuracy (Android 4.3 and later). This should overcome GPS issues in the majority of cases, but uses more battery life. Failing this, hunt down and install FasterGPS from Google Play – a free app with in-app purchases to boost your GPS.
Download files quicker
Are you a regular downloader? If so you may have been frustrated by Android’s slow pace in this area, especially when downloading multiple files to your phone or tablet. Using the Super Download app (£1.29/$1.99) you can combine both your 3G or 4G data connections with a Wi-Fi network to download files and content faster than by using only one method alone. You will need to be rooted and will also need a compatible ROM. Beware that this method will eat your battery life pretty rapidly so should be used only sparingly.