The latest batch of Android smartphones to have hit the market is impressive in terms of their speed and performance. But what are you supposed to do with your out of date phones? It would be a shame to just throw them out, right? Android Booster FREE promises to breathe new life into your old devices. Is that even possible? Find out in our test report.
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|Reviewed version||Latest version|
|1.2.70.01||Varies with device|
Features & Use
Remember those days when Google’s first device – the HTC Dream (aka T-Mobile G1) – seemed to have so much potential. That pushed me to buy my first Android phone in 2010 – the Motorola Milestone, considered to be the best Android could offer at the time. After a couple of months, I realized that much better devices were going to hit the market soon. Its 550 Mhz processor and 256MB of RAM don’t seem very impressive at all from today’s perspective. I finally had to part with my beloved Milestone when I got a brand-new Nexus S in the mail.
Android OS may run OK on older devices, but it pales in comparison to the newest phones. I’m perfectly happy with my Milestone, but the small internal memory is a nuisance. There’s just no denying: old Android devices are just not fast enough. Android Booster FREE is supposed to offer a complete package meant to significantly increase your phones performance. Is it time to send these old phones into retirement or can they be saved?
When you start up Android Browser Free (listed as Mobile Guard after installation) you’ll see an overview menu. A star rating shows your system’s current overall performance. Five stars mean : Congratulations! Everything is in good shape! Anything fewer than five stars means that you are in need of some serious maintenance by clickbin Optimize. Next to the Optimize button you can adjust what requires a tune up by selecting the cogwheel symbol:
- Close Tasks: Kills all tasks and increases your memory
- Overlooked Tasks: Select tasks that should not be killed
- Switch off Wi-Fi
- Switch off Bluetooth
Let me clear some things up here. I’m sure many of you are wondering if task killers (which is basically what the Optimize feature is) are worthwhile. Here are the basics: Android closes applications automatically when they are not being used for a certain period of time or when more memory is needed. As an Android user, your main concern is about having as much free space as possible and extending your battery life. The last part is the cause for a lot of debate in the Android community. The thing is that as soon as you kill all your applications with a task killer, the Android system automatically restarts some of them.
As a result of all this killing and starting up, the battery gets drained even more than if they were running in the background. So basically, the task killer frees up memory space, but does not really extend your batter life. Here’s a tip for everyone: try killing all your apps, wait a minute and see which apps have starting running again. Then you can ignore these apps by placing them in Overlooked Tasks. Finally, I recommend uninstalling apps that consistently run in the background for no apparent reason.
What else is under the Overview tab?
It shows you how much free memory space you have left with exact percentages of RAM usage. I tried out to see what the task killer actually does. On my Milestone, I opened Gmail, the calendar, Facebook, several tabs in my browser, the photo album and my alarm clock. Based on that scenario, Android Booster Free listed 78% of the memory as being used with only 48 free MB. After clicking on Optimize, this number was reduced to 61%! Is there a noticeable difference? Well, I definitely noticed that multi-tasking seemed to run faster after the cleaning. A really practical feature: Android Booster Free shows you how much battery you have left and estimates how much you can call, surf, listen to music and watch videos on your phone before your phone dies. It might be a great idea, but the estimates were way off when I used the app.
Utilities is the next category in Android Booster Free. In addition to the task manager, there are the following:
- Network manager: show syou how much data is being used vie 3G or Wi-Fi and which apps are currently using the internet.
- Power manager: see what parts of the system are using up the most power.
- Software manager: here you can manage all your installed apps. Uninstall with just one click.
- File manager: an easy-to-use file manager with all the usual features (copy, rename, delete, create folder etc.)
MyNetQuin is the most pointless subsection of this app. Here you can recommend the app to your friends or follow it on Facebook and Twitter. The only useful thing here is the ability to search for the latest updates.
A nice addition is the integrated widget: it displays the battery status and free RAM. You can turn Bluetooth, Wi-FI and 3G on/off.
Bottom Line: Android Booster Free combines a lot of practical features – all under one roof. Android Booster Free may not offer anything particularly new, but it works pretty well. The app may slightly improve your phone’s performance, but let’s face it: old Android phones are just simply out of date. People should feel free to continue using them, but don’t expect any miracles from apps like this.
Screen & Controls
Extremely impressed with the layout of Android Booster FREE! It's practical, beautiful and easy to use. Kudos to the developers on this one!
Speed & Stability
Android Booster FREE crashed unexpectedly one during the test (one my Milestone), but performed smoothly on all other test devices.
Android Booster FREE can be downloaded at no cost from the AndroidPIT App Center.