Mobility

Clean up your Droid's act for free with the first-rate Droid Optimizer

If you're looking for a best-in-breed optimizer, Jack Wallen tells you about one that might fit all your needs.

Image: Jack Wallen

There are many apps that advertise to keep your Android device running fresh-out-of-the-box smooth. Some deliver, some don't. But for the most part, all Android optimizers offer these same tricks:

  • Free up unused memory
  • Clear background apps
  • App manager
  • Security features

Here's what separates the good from the bad: a well thought-out interface, no intrusive ads, and maybe an extra feature or two. Droid Optimizer is at the top of my list of optimizers, because it has a very well thought-out interface, there are no ads, and it offers all the standard features.

But does it work? That's the big question surrounding tools like this. For the most part, I've found optimizers to offer up little more than what a user can do on their own (without having to add third-party tools). But when you want a one-stop shop for all these tasks, an optimizer is a must-have. Yet again, I ask... does Droid Optimizer work?

Before we answer that question, let's see what Droid Optimizer offers beyond the standard features.

  • Junk Finder: Scan and delete junk or large files
  • Auto Start Manager: Manage the apps that start on boot

The standard features work as expected. When you add the Junk Finder, you start seeing an app well worth your time.

Installing Droid Optimizer

  1. Open the Google Play Store on your Android device.
  2. Search for droid optimizer.
  3. Locate and tap the entry by Ashampoo.
  4. Tap Install.
  5. Read the permissions listing.
  6. If the permissions listing is acceptable, tap Accept.
  7. Allow the installation to complete.

Using Droid Optimizer

To launch the app, tap the launcher, which you'll find in your App Drawer, or on your home screen, or in both places. You will be greeted by a welcome screen; tap LET'S START OPTIMIZING! to begin.

From the main window (Figure A) you can launch the various tools. I suggest starting with the Clean Up task.

Figure A

Figure A
Image: Jack Wallen

Droid Optimizer running on a Verizon-branded LG G3.

Tap the Clean Up button, and you will be able to run the Junk Finder and other tools (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B
Image: Jack Wallen

Running the Clean Up tasks on Droid Optimizer.

Tap the Junk Finder button and then select the file sizes you want to search for from the Size drop-down. Your options are:

> 3 MB

> 5 MB

> 10 MB

> 50 MB

> 100 MB

Tap SCAN (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C
Image: Jack Wallen

Selecting the size of file you want to search for.

After Droid Optimizer scans the device, you will be presented with the option to select which files to delete (Figure D).

Figure D

Figure D
Image: Jack Wallen

Deleting large files with Droid Optimizer.

Select what you want to delete and tap the trash can. By default, music, picture, and video files are not listed; you can enable those file types by tapping the enable/disable sliders.

Go back to the Clean Up window and tap the Auto Start Manager. You will see a listing of apps that are running at boot. This is a good chance to see anything that might have slipped under your radar (as you see in Figure E).

Figure E

Figure E
Image: Jack Wallen

How did Cookie Jam and Sugar Smash get installed?

Tap to select the apps you want to stop on boot, and you're good to go.

Any of those apps you discovered through the Auto Start Manager that don't belong on your device, go back to the main window and tap App Manager — now you can delete all of those unwanted apps in batch form (Figure F).

Figure F

Figure F
Image: Jack Wallen

Deleting apps in batches.

From an app listing in the App Manager, you can add the app to the Droid Optimizer whitelist. When an app is in the whitelist, it will be ignored by features, including Auto Clean Up.

Notice the User drop-down? Tap that and you can see the categories of apps you can delete. Select All, and you will see everything that's available for deleting. At first glance, it looks as if you can finally delete the OEM/carrier bloatware; unfortunately, this is not the case. If you attempt to uninstall those apps, it will fail. Even so, this is a great batch uninstaller.

Go back to the main window and tap Automatic. You will find two options:

  • Auto Clean Up: Auto cleans your device at regular intervals
  • Good Night Scheduler: Conserves energy by disabling Wi-Fi at night

The most useful tool here is Auto Clean Up. Tap on that entry, tap Activate, set up the time, and then configure what to clean (Figure G).

Figure G

Figure G
Image: Jack Wallen

Setting up the Auto Clean Up feature.

The verdict is in

Of all the cleanup tools I've used on Android, Droid Optimizer makes the best use of function while delivering it with a form that is incredibly user friendly. Add to that the extra features, and this optimizer is one of the best in breeds.

Which tool have you found works best for this particular task on Android? Let us know in the discussion.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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