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5 tweaks to turn Android 2.1 into Froyo

Get the features of the latest version of the OS now

If you're envious of Android users who have Android 2.2, don't be. Here are some ways to get the same features.

Speed up Android

By all accounts, one of the best things about Froyo is that it makes Android phones faster and more responsive. While there's no direct way to speed up an Android 2.1 phone, there are some steps you can take to make it move a bit more quickly.

The first isn't a sure-fire solution. I'm including it here because some people report that it works, but others say it doesn't work. I'll leave it up to your discretion to try it if you want.

Android multitasks, and many people don't close down an app in Android when they no longer want to use it. They just head back to the main screen and run another app. So that first or second or third app might still be running, sucking up memory and processor time.

Android includes routines for cleaning up apps that you no longer use, but some people believe it doesn't work as well as it should. So they use a task killer that lets them view all of the currently running apps and background services, and they kill any they don't want to run - either automatically (for example, when the phone isn't being used) or manually.

There are several task killers you can get for free from the Android Market. I tried two of them: Task Manager from Adao Team and Task Killer from ReChild. Both work similarly - they display all the apps currently running with a checkbox next to each, and they let you kill any app you no longer want to use by unchecking the box. I found that Task Killer displayed more tasks and services to kill than did Task Manager, although to be honest I didn't notice any speed difference after using either of them.

Will either of these speed up your Android 2.1 phone? The only way to find out is to try them out yourself.

There are others steps you can take if you want to speed up Android 2.1 - they mainly involve shutting down background services and apps you don't often use. For example, having your smartphone constantly check for e-mail may slow it down and certainly sucks up battery life. You can have your phone check less frequently, or you can do the checking yourself manually.

To change the polling interval for email, tap the Email app, press the Menu key, and select Email settings > Email delivery. From the screen that appears, tap the down arrow next to 'Fetch schedule' and select Manually.

You may also want to turn off other features you don't use all the time, such as GPS or Wi-Fi. Most Android phones have a power widget for doing that. You can use that widget to turn off any features you don't need, and to turn them back on when you want to use them.

It's also a good idea to uninstall downloaded apps that you no longer use, in case any of them automatically run background services you don't need. And if after downloading an app you notice your phone slows down, uninstall it. It's surprising how frequently badly behaving apps can hurt your phone's performance.

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  2. Speed up Android
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