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Sentinel
Premium
join:2001-02-07
Florida
kudos:2

New to smart phones 2 - questions

OK, so after my other topic I ended up getting a Motorola Razor M. Nice phone so far but there is a steep learning curve going from a regular old phone to a smart phone. Lots for me to learn so I'm asking help from you smart phone gurus

First question: This thing came with a ton of pre-installed apps and widgets; many of which appear to be running all the time and some constantly communicating outbound.

So my first question is:
1. How do I know which apps I can shut off completely without messing anything up?
2. Which apps can I change to leave on but only communicate when I ask it to?

I have a ton more questions but I think I'll start there. Basically, much like my PC, I like to practice lean computing. I prefer to turn things off and run them when I want and not have them running all the time when I don't need them. This seems to be especially important on a cell phone since it will help conserve battery power and use less data usage.

For example the weather "circles". I would prefer to set it up so that it only checks the weather when I ask it to. I don't need to know the weather every second.


Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

1 recommendation

said by Sentinel:

So my first question is:
1. How do I know which apps I can shut off completely without messing anything up?
2. Which apps can I change to leave on but only communicate when I ask it to?

1.) It's mostly trial-and-error, but if the app is carrier crapware, it's likely not going to hurt anything to shut it off/disable it.
2.) Anything that shows up under the account sync menu can be set to sync manually, though that doesn't guarantee the application itself won't start when the phone boots.
--
If you can't open it, you don't own it.

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
Pearland, TX
kudos:4
reply to Sentinel
running Android is different from how pc's run...

shutting down an app isn't necessary. android uses its system resources very nicely such a way that if it needs more memory to run other apps, it will shut down other apps that are not in use pr have not been used for a while.

the only reason I could think off shutting down an app is that it eats a lot of data even when running in the background. I do uninstall apps that I could live without to free up phone data storage and I know I can access information the way I like it...

some apps like the weather have a setting to check every hour, 4 hours or so....depends on what you like.


La Luna
RIP Lisa
Premium
join:2001-07-12
Warwick, NY
kudos:3

1 recommendation

reply to Sentinel
Whatever you do, don't UNINSTALL any google or carrier branded apps that came with the phone. That can cause big problems. However, you can disable them, usually in app settings somewhere.

Any weather app should have setting that allows you to choose how often you want it to update.


Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2

1 recommendation

That would be Settings/ Apps/ All. Tap app, disable. Done.

Note: some cannot be disabled, but you will be warned.


Hayward
K A R - 1 2 0 C
Premium
join:2000-07-13
Key West, FL
kudos:1
reply to La Luna
said by La Luna:

Whatever you do, don't UNINSTALL any google or carrier branded apps that came with the phone. That can cause big problems. However, you can disable them, usually in app settings somewhere.

Any weather app should have setting that allows you to choose how often you want it to update.

Usually that is impossible, unless you have rooted the device and even then often not, only disabled.
--



Sentinel
Premium
join:2001-02-07
Florida
kudos:2
reply to Cabal
Thanks all. I guess what you guys are saying is that there is no set agreed to bunch of stuff that pretty much every one turns off so it's really on a app by app basis. Sounds tedious but I guess I'll give it a try one by one. Thanks for the info.

Cabal,
I see that setting area discussed a lot in the manual (Accounts Sync) but I can't find it on the phone. All I see is Accounts. I'm guessing that is the same thing but I don't see sync options there.

medbuyer,
OK, but when I show running apps it shows 486MB used of 1GB. That is half of my available ram and I'm not even doing anything. The list of running apps is pretty darn long. Also from a security perspective I don't think I like the idea of so much stuff talking behind my back all the time for what seems to be no reason.

La Luna,
The weather all in question is circles widget. I can't find a setting on it anywhere to adjust it's frequency. Can you tell me where that might be please?

Appreciate you guys holding my hand as I step in to this brave new world (where I will no be watched 24/7 )

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
Pearland, TX
kudos:4
said by Sentinel:

medbuyer,
OK, but when I show running apps it shows 486MB used of 1GB. That is half of my available ram and I'm not even doing anything. The list of running apps is pretty darn long. Also from a security perspective I don't think I like the idea of so much stuff talking behind my back all the time for what seems to be no reason.

that's normal....the way it works is that apps are running in the background wherein when you tap on the app to use it, it shouldn't lag and quickly come up ready for use...

killing that app from running in the background might or will cause it to come up slow when you tap and in some cases, returns an error or doesn't work properly...

I had the same thoughts as you have when I first tried android...With Windows, the more apps running in the background, the slower it gets even if you're not using that app / software....With android, it doesn't matter or when you actually kill the running app, sometimes it comes up slow instead......regardless if it's a tablet or a phone...

I'm currently using 635MB of the 1.2GB RAM of my S4 and I don't notice a slowdown...


Sentinel
Premium
join:2001-02-07
Florida
kudos:2
Sounds OK from a technical standpoint, but from data usage or security standpoint I'm still not sure I like all that stuff running in the background that I am not using, so I still think I would prefer to turn things off if no used.

Let's use a hypothetical app just as an example. If I never ever under any circumstances ever use it then why should I have it running all the time, even if it uses little resources or slows down the phone? Why have it possibly phoning home with my info if it doesn't need to?

Don't get me wrong. I understand that in order for some things on my phone to work the way I like I have to allow things to do their thing which I may not like. I also understand that they are going to be sucking my info off the phone constantly without my permission. But all I'm saying is can I just reduce that a bit to its lowest possible level?

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
Pearland, TX
kudos:4
said by Sentinel:

Sounds OK from a technical standpoint, but from data usage or security standpoint I'm still not sure I like all that stuff running in the background that I am not using, so I still think I would prefer to turn things off if no used.

Let's use a hypothetical app just as an example. If I never ever under any circumstances ever use it then why should I have it running all the time, even if it uses little resources or slows down the phone? Why have it possibly phoning home with my info if it doesn't need to?

Don't get me wrong. I understand that in order for some things on my phone to work the way I like I have to allow things to do their thing which I may not like. I also understand that they are going to be sucking my info off the phone constantly without my permission. But all I'm saying is can I just reduce that a bit to its lowest possible level?

this is android you're talking about not windows where malware, hacking, trojans and viruses are the norm...

android may have some but that is only if you install apps outside of google play...

an app running in the background means that at one point you've accessed it and or using it....if you're certain you won't be using it in the foreseeable future, you can disable or uninstall unless it's a carrier bloatware.


La Luna
RIP Lisa
Premium
join:2001-07-12
Warwick, NY
kudos:3
reply to Hayward
said by Hayward:

said by La Luna:

Whatever you do, don't UNINSTALL any google or carrier branded apps that came with the phone. That can cause big problems. However, you can disable them, usually in app settings somewhere.

Any weather app should have setting that allows you to choose how often you want it to update.

Usually that is impossible, unless you have rooted the device and even then often not, only disabled.

Still worth mentioning. He didn't say whether he was planning to root or not.
--
The Alien in the White House

21,078 DEADLY TERROR ATTACKS SINCE 9/11


Sentinel
Premium
join:2001-02-07
Florida
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to medbuyer
When I talk about an app sucking info off of my phone without my permission I'm not talking about malware. That's a separate issue. What I'm talking about is the actual app itself phoning home to the app manufacturer itself without my permission.

What I mean is like the Amazon app for example. If I am never going to use the Amazon app then why it having running all the time potentially sending my info back to Amazon for them to use as they see fit without my permission or authority? Might as well just stop it; no?

Obviously if I use the app then I am agreeing to terms of service which probably say they can give me an "exam" but if I don't use it then I don't want it doing anything if I can help it.


lilhurricane
Crunchin' For Cures
Numquam oblita
join:2003-01-11
Purple Zone
kudos:57
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

I understand exactly what you're talking about, Sentinel See Profile

All those running things on my new Android tablet ICS 4.4 didn't rest entirely easy with me either.

I just disabled them - as Ms Moon said above, uninstalling some branded apps caused major issues. I had to factory default restore & start over.

Very different and takes some getting used to
--
~Safe Hex~ Team Discovery ~ Project Hope ~ Like A Hurricane~

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
Pearland, TX
kudos:4
reply to Sentinel
said by Sentinel:

When I talk about an app sucking info off of my phone without my permission I'm not talking about malware. That's a separate issue. What I'm talking about is the actual app itself phoning home to the app manufacturer itself without my permission.

What I mean is like the Amazon app for example. If I am never going to use the Amazon app then why it having running all the time potentially sending my info back to Amazon for them to use as they see fit without my permission or authority? Might as well just stop it; no?

Obviously if I use the app then I am agreeing to terms of service which probably say they can give me an "exam" but if I don't use it then I don't want it doing anything if I can help it.

yeah, I understand....you can always disable or uninstall the app that you know you're not going to use....

as for the other apps, that's really kind of a trade off with having a smart phone.


Sentinel
Premium
join:2001-02-07
Florida
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to lilhurricane
Fortunately there is a place lie this where one can come and have his hand held as he ventures nervously into this brave new world (too dramatic?)

"...that's really kind of a trade off with having a smart phone."
This is what I am getting used to


La Luna
RIP Lisa
Premium
join:2001-07-12
Warwick, NY
kudos:3

1 recommendation

reply to Sentinel
said by Sentinel:

La Luna,
The weather all in question is circles widget. I can't find a setting on it anywhere to adjust it's frequency. Can you tell me where that might be please?

Appreciate you guys holding my hand as I step in to this brave new world (where I will no be watched 24/7 )

I did a little googling around, it seems the settings on the Circle Weather widget are very limited (I *think* they are in the general widget settings). It seems you can only change location.

»motorola-global-portal.custhelp. ··· id/87232

I would look for another weather app with more functionality. Beautiful Widgets is one, but there are a ton more in the store.
--
The Alien in the White House

21,078 DEADLY TERROR ATTACKS SINCE 9/11


Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Try Android Weather and Clock widget. Pretty darn nice, IMO.


Hayward
K A R - 1 2 0 C
Premium
join:2000-07-13
Key West, FL
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to Sentinel
said by Sentinel:

Sounds OK from a technical standpoint, but from data usage or security standpoint I'm still not sure I like all that stuff running in the background that I am not using, so I still think I would prefer to turn things off if no used.

As pointed out many of these these thing are just dormant resident and space needed the OS will terminate them for an active app.

One way to curtail this is to curtail the apps you give notification permissions to. Words with Friends people want to know when it is their turn but means it is always a bit active and resident. Same with weather apps especially those that do alert warning.

But there are many other Apps you really don't need or want that but in install/first run people just grant that permission, not thinking means longer boot time and again it will auto start and be resident.

Then some complain they are bombarded... well you said OK and yes those apps that give notification are background running. You don't need those notifications particularly go into settings and turn them off or never enable them in the first place. You will probably see a significant reduction in things that auto start.
--



lordpuffer
RIP lil
Premium
join:2004-09-19
Rio Rancho, NM
kudos:2
Reviews:
·CableOne
reply to Juggernaut
said by Juggernaut:

Try Android Weather and Clock widget. Pretty darn nice, IMO.

Agreed....That is now the weather app that I use, and I really like it.


Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2
Yep, one of our members posted it (sorry, I'd give credit where due if possible), and loved it.


Sentinel
Premium
join:2001-02-07
Florida
kudos:2
reply to Juggernaut
La Luna,
Yeah, that is what it seems to me. Practically no settings to change adjust really for the entire widget. But the time and battery displays are nice and helpful. Don't want to get rid of those. My old cell phone had the time right on the front, but it seems as though if I remove the circles widget then the only time and battery display are the tiny little one at the very top right; not the big one on the main display.

Juggernaut,
(OK, I'm going to look dumb again. Forgive my ignorance) Where/how do I find this app of which you speak?

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
Pearland, TX
kudos:4
said by Sentinel:

Juggernaut,
(OK, I'm going to look dumb again. Forgive my ignorance) Where/how do I find this app of which you speak?

I'll answer that for Juggernaut...

»play.google.com/store/apps/detai ··· er&hl=en

you mean you haven't accessed google play yet?


Sentinel
Premium
join:2001-02-07
Florida
kudos:2
Thanks! I'll check it out.

I have been there with my PC but not through the phone yet, no. I don't have a Google account yet. I'm trying to avoid getting one. Trying to see if it is possible to use this phone and do what I want without getting one. It's getting harder and harder.

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
Pearland, TX
kudos:4
said by Sentinel:

Thanks! I'll check it out.

I have been there with my PC but not through the phone yet, no. I don't have a Google account yet. I'm trying to avoid getting one. Trying to see if it is possible to use this phone and do what I want without getting one. It's getting harder and harder.

oh you need to create one...you don't know what you're missing...

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to Sentinel
Android is designed as advertisement platform. It means:
a) they want to be able to push ads on you without you be able to block it (recently Google even removed from Play Store all apps, that could help you to do just that)
b) they want to track what you're doing, 24/7
Keeping that in mind, here is advice. Treat it as someone else's PC (like in PC Cafe or in library) where you have almost no control over it. Don't put your personal data in it (or there is no any guarantee that it will not be transmitted to anywhere without your consent).

Preventing apps form running on the background could mean that you may prevent them from doing those two tasks mentioned above. And it's made difficult in Android for the obvious reason. Rooting the phone is the right direction to make it a bit more private, secure and to save battery, but it doesn't solve all the problems.

From personal experience of running Android phone for more then couple of years - it's just an unreliable gadget, where you have almost no control over it (comparing to what you can do with your PC). Remember, it's just a toy, not a tool in any way...
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
Pearland, TX
kudos:4
said by OZO:

Android is designed as advertisement platform. It means:
a) they want to be able to push ads on you without you be able to block it (recently Google even removed from Play Store all apps, that could help you to do just that)
b) they want to track what you're doing, 24/7
Keeping that in mind, here is advice. Treat it as someone else's PC (like in PC Cafe or in library) where you have almost no control over it. Don't put your personal data in it (or there is no any guarantee that it will not be transmitted to anywhere without your consent).

Preventing apps form running on the background could mean that you may prevent them from doing those two tasks mentioned above. And it's made difficult in Android for the obvious reason. Rooting the phone is the right direction to make it a bit more private, secure and to save battery, but it doesn't solve all the problems.

From personal experience of running Android phone for more then couple of years - it's just an unreliable gadget, where you have almost no control over it (comparing to what you can do with your PC). Remember, it's just a toy, not a tool in any way...

you sure you're talking about Android and not iOS?

your argument fits iOS more and there's actually a lot more than that....

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2
Where do you see I've mentioned iOS?

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
Pearland, TX
kudos:4
said by OZO:

Where do you see I've mentioned iOS?

I didn't say you mentioned iOS...

I was asking you if you're sure you're talking about Android and not iOS...two different things...

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2

1 edit
It seems that you're cited my whole post, but did not read it. Please peruse it and let me know if you have any questions.

Meantime lets focus on the OP's questions and not on iOS or am I sure about what I'm typing...
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
Pearland, TX
kudos:4
said by OZO:

It seems that you're cited my whole pose, but did not read it. Please peruse it and let me know if you have any questions.

ok...here it is then?

1. How is Android an advertisement platform? isn't iOS too?
2. Referring to A., iOS does this too...
3. Referring to B., iOS does this too...
4. Like your PC, security and privacy is a big concern. I think Android has better measures to curb this compared to iOS.
5. Preventing Apps from running in the background has been an issue with all smartphones, not just Android. It doesn't take rooting for you to uninstall an app from Android unless you really want to remove the bloatware from the carrier. I didn't have to root mine in order to be private, secure and save battery.
6. I find it hard to believe that you can't control Android. With Android, I can see and search as to where my files are just like Windows or a PC. Have you tried doing this with iOS? without jailbreaking?