Common problems with Android phones, and how to fix them

Android smartphones are affordable and offer plenty of cool features, but they can be very frustrating to use at times


Newer apps are regularly updated by their developers to make them more compatible with new versions of Android OS. One can resolve it by updating the phone’s OS. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
Newer apps are regularly updated by their developers to make them more compatible with new versions of Android OS. One can resolve it by updating the phone’s OS. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Google’s Android operating system (OS) is present on more smartphones than any other mobile OS, globally. The presence of numerous phone makers who are willing to offer high-end specs at the lowest possible price to entice buyers and the flexibility the software provides to users in terms of what they can do with them are some of the factors which make Android more popular.

What the phonemakers have not been able to resolve are the various inconsistencies that users have to live with every day. Here are some of the factors which make the Android OS a test of patience and how you can resolve them.

Case of Custom UIs

The feature that is often loved by many mainstream users and hated by many is the custom UI. Phonemakers have been trying to refine the rough edges in their custom UIs for years. Some like HTC have made improvements by cutting down on app clutter and making the UIs simpler.

However, a lot remains to be done. Too many features, custom themes and a long list of options make some of these UIs so complex that it becomes difficult for users to navigate through them at times.

If you have fallen for an Android phone for its stunning hardware and good looks, but regret buying it now because the UI feels too muddled, you can apply Google’s Now Launcher (Free; Google Play Store) on your phone. Though this will only change the basic layout and cannot override the entire custom UI, it will make navigation better.

Battery drains too fast

The presence of too many apps and features on your phone not only increases clutter but also puts more stress on a phone’s battery. Some apps can drain battery by sending too many notifications, running background sync for new data, looking for your locations consistently and more. Android widgets consistently sync data to provide live updates to users on the home screen. Google new battery manager Doze can help by killing apps when the phone is not in use. However, it only works on phones with Android 6.0 and above. See if your phone is eligible for the Google updates in the Phone’s Settings->About phone-> System updates.

Lags and performance issues

A lot of Android phones become sluggish after some time, due to various reasons. Build up of cache files, inconsistency between the older OS and newer apps, keeping too many apps in the background are some of the factors that can be behind it. The first one can be resolved by simply running cache cleaner apps on your phone regularly. Many phonemakers preload such apps on their phone. You can download them from the Play Store. The issue of inconsistency between apps and OS is a bit hard to resolve.

Newer apps are regularly updated by their developers to make them more compatible with new versions of Android OS. One can resolve it by updating the phone’s OS. This is why it’s important to buy phones with new OS. The third issue of multiple apps is the easiest to handle. Merely closing an app doesn’t stop it. It continues to run in the background using your phone’s hardware resources. Go to the multi-tasking button and close all apps which you don’t require.

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