Android: Speed it up

Is your phone getting a bit laggy? Are you having trouble swiping left to right? Just before you curse your mobile operator for selling you some hunk of poop, here are a couple of little things to watch out for that might just smooth out your ride.

No live wallpaper
Live wallpaper is all very fun but it does take up a certain amount of resources to keep it animated and updated, depending upon what it is. The older your handset gets, the more dated those specs become and, in order to keep your desktop scrolling smoothly, it might be a good idea just to stick to a plain, still background.

Fewer widgets
By the same token, you might want to ditch a few of those widgets that you don't use so often. No need to cut them all completely - unless you're really desperate - but streamlining will certainly help your data usage, start up time, and speed efficiency as well.

Kill your apps
We'll say it again. Get yourself an app monitor/task killer of some sort. If you've got 1,001 apps running in the background, it's not just going to rinse your battery but also slow whatever task that you're actually trying to do right down.

System Updates
Whether it's your custom user interface or the main Android OS itself, both will want upgrading from time to time, whenever an update is available, and these are things to be treasured when they come. While the headline reasons to download and install the new package are often feature based, there's always a raft of bug fixes and speed bumps that these treats float in on.

Hit the Menu key, then Settings and all the way to the bottom and the About Phone section where you'll be able to check for updates. Most of the time though, you'll probably see updates popping up in your notifications bar at the top of the screen rather than having to go and look for them manually.

Factory Reset
It's a last desperate measure but worth a crack before you give in and buy a new phone. All this customisation, web browsing and downloading and wiping of apps and documents can takes its toll just like it does on your PC. Wiping the phone and starting again might give your mobile just the breathing space it needs to get its act together. Head to the Privacy menu in Settings and don't go touching the Factory Reset button just for a laugh. Do remember to back up properly first.