It’s the bane of owning a smartphone – apps can, and will, demand data. And when they’re not demanding it, they’re sending it. While you’re on a Wi-Fi connection this will usually be okay. The problems start when you’re using metered mobile internet.
There are several ways you can deal with
background apps, but fi rst a question:
does it actually matter? Do you really need
to worry about these apps?
It really depends on what they’re up to.
Battery discharging often? Metered
connection exceeded, resulting in big bills?
If either of these things have happened to
you, or your Android is just running slow
through the sheer weight of expectation
from all of the background apps currently
running, then yes, it matters.
You can get a handle on which apps are
causing problems by opening
Settings>Apps and switching to Running.
Here, all active apps and services are
listed, along with the resources currently
apportioned. Spot apps that shouldn’t be
there? You can tap an app to force stop it.
This won’t stop apps from restarting
later on, however. Unless you plan to
uninstall your data vampire apps, the best
way to proceed is to prevent them from
getting online in the fi rst place.
Using Android’s data usage tool you can
manage which apps access the internet,
potentially saving yourself a bit of battery
power and even reducing your phone bill.
In Settings>Data Usage you can check
how much data your phone has used over
the past month. All web-connected apps
are listed, displaying the data use of
individual apps as well as a grand total.
To cap data use by apps while they’re
running in the background, open the menu
and select Restrict background data. You’ll
fi nd this makes quite a difference to your
There are too many junk apps installed
While checking what apps are making a
connection to the internet, you’ll
probably notice a few that you had
forgotten about, or don’t want to use anymore.
There may also be some that you don’t access all
that often. You can tidy things up pretty easily,
either by disabling the apps, uninstalling or even
freezing them if your phone is rooted.
also move the apps to a secondary launcher, so
they’re visible only when you want to use them.
Open Settings>Apps to view your current apps,
tapping Disable to prevent the app from running
or Uninstall to remove it from your system.
Is your phone rooted? If so you can take
advantage of an application such as Greenify,
which will freeze a problematic app for you,
preventing it from running in the background. This
is ideal for apps you use rarely but still need to
If your phone isn’t rooted, don’t worry.
Third-party launchers – such as Go Launcher EX
or Nova Launcher – can be installed and set up,
with your rarely used apps dropped into the new
home screen. Once you’ve done that then you
can go ahead and delete the shortcuts from your
main home screen, saving space.