Don’t forget to do a spring cleaning of old apps you no longer use

SC20120608 135534 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag hereWhile it’s technically summer now, I am the undefeated master of procrastination, so when I finally sat down to clean up my Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus today it was more overdue than it should have been. It was needed, too.

Uninstalling old applications is a fairly important aspect of any OS, but particularly Android. Even if you don’t use the apps, they affect your system in several ways. Some of them run in the background by default, which is never good if you end up with lots of unused apps hogging your computing power and RAM. They also use up memory, and things like games in particular can fill your internal memory rather quickly. Then you have the fact that these apps will requires updates just like the ones you use, which will prolong the update time each time you do it, or use extra system resources if set to automatic.

Some apps also like to sit in the background and bug you from time to time. GO Launcher has a built in update checker than gives you a second notification of available updates, separate from Android’s own, which can be quite annoying if not dealt with. Finally, they take up space in your app drawer, making it harder to find everything else.

When you do decide to sit down and uninstall stuff, it’s not a bad idea to get a tool for it. I just downloaded a free uninstaller from Google Play, which allowed me to see all apps in an alphabetic list and uninstall directly. This is quite a bit faster than doing it through the application manager in Android, and even if you have a browser like Go Launcher which lets you do it from the app drawer I think you’ll find a specialized tool to be quicker.

Of course I doubt everyone has as much unneeded stuff on their devices as I do, as I think I probably uninstalled close to 50 apps. A fairly common problem, for me at least, is themes and other plugins for apps I have actually uninstalled. You uninstall an app and think you’re done with it, then four months later find three themes for it still on the device. Another issue I had is that when I got the Galaxy S II I started using it for a lot of the things I used my tablet for before that, and even half a year later those apps were still on the tablet.

So, if you have a spare moment, perhaps it’s time to sit down and shift through those old apps and throw away those you no longer use. Your device will thank you for it.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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