How To: Supercharge your Android Smartphone

Since Android handsets can be heavily tweaked with third-party ROMs and kernels, many might agree that either the ROM has good eye-candy and great features but is slightly sluggish or maybe it's the other way around. A developer named ‘Zeppelirox’ has studied the behavior and written a script which helps tweak the Android operating system to gain performance in terms of graphical speed. What this actually does is try to clear useless memory space (RAM management) by clearing unwanted memory hogging apps and decreasing the graphical lag which helps improve the performance of the home launcher, certain games and the UI responsiveness. It is similar to automatic memory management software but does it by running a script in the boot sequence and making it a default in the operating system. It also makes the home launcher ‘hard-to-kill’ saving it from reloading and straining the memory. 

Step 1

Step 1

 

 

Android puts each running app into OOM (Out Of Memory) groups and each is based on their priority from 1 to 6. These are as follows:

  1. Foreground Applications: These are apps that are presently running on the screen which you see. It also includes system and phone apps running in the background and are necessary at all times.
  2. Visible Applications: Apps that are visible to the user but are not running in the foreground.
  3. Secondary Server: These are applications and services that run in the background all the time. For example SenseUI or Launcher Home.
  4. Hidden Applications: Similar to visible apps but still running in the background.
  5. Content Provider: These are processes such as contacts content provider and calendar content provider.
  6. Empty Applications: Apps that are running in standby and are not needed or are dormant in the background which can be safely shut down.

 

Hence by adjusting these app priorities, one can take control of the memory usage and shut them down thus keeping the memory free and keeping your phone running faster and smoother.  

Step 2

Step 2

 

 

Note: The V6 Supercharger script can be safely run on all Android phones; be it stock ROMs or third-party ROMs. It has presently been tested with Android Gingerbread and the effect will purely depend on the type of phone specs (GPU type, CPU speed and RAM capacity) and definitely on the kernel type. It will also depend on the amount of TSR (terminate and stay resident) apps such as alarms, live wallpapers, etc, that you may have installed which cause additional memory strain. Those using ICS-based ROMs can also try the similar method, but the script will be different. You can get the scripts on the XDA forums.

Step 3

Step 3

 

 

Requirements: 

  • The V6 Supercharger Script Update 8 or higher (from the XDA forums)
  • Scrip Manager app (free from the Android Market)
  • BusyBox version v1.18.2 or lower (free from the Android Market)
  • A rooted Android phone.

 

Begin by rooting your phone if you haven’t already done so. You can find the procedure to do so for your Android handset on the XDA forums.

Step 4

Step 4

 

Those who have phones from unbranded Chinese manufacturers might find it difficult to get them rooted. Next, download and install BusyBox Installer and choose the ‘v1.18.2’ or lower from the dropdown list and install it. Next, install Script Manager from the Android market. Make sure you have BusyBox v1.18.2 or lower, unless specified that the higher version can be used safely. You will find the information from the XDA forums when downloading the Supercharger script. Finally when you have all these apps installed, download the V6 Supercharger script update 8 from ‘http://tinyurl.com/4jpcvuj’. Scroll down to the attachments, find the link ’V6_SuperCharger_for_Android-update8.sh.txt’, right-click on the line and select ‘save to download folder’ because if you click on it, the TXT file will open up in the browser itself. The file name would be ‘V6_SuperCharger_for_Android-update8.sh.txt’ and is a plain text file with a lot of Linux commands in it. Save this file on your phone's SD card (keep it in the root folder of the SD card so it is easy to locate). 

Step 5

Step 5

 

 

Now get on your phone and run the app ‘Script Manager’. Allow root access and make sure you click on the ‘Browse as root’ and then on ‘OK’. The next screen will open the built-in file browser to locate the script. Click on the update 8 supercharger script that you earlier saved on your SD card’s root folder. And you will reach the next screen. Here make sure you click on the ‘SU’ button (the one with the skull and bones) and then click on the ‘Run’ button. Now wait and be patient while the commands in the script are being executed. Read every line carefully so you know what it is doing. You will be asked for your inputs at particular points and you can do so by touching the screen anywhere in the center to bring up the onscreen keyboard.

Step 6

Step 6

 

 

The first time it will ask you to define the scrolling speed—you can choose normal or fast according to your preference.  We chose fast (1). You will see a number of lines scrolling giving you information. You will also see a screen with around 17 to 30 options (depending on the script update version 8 or 9 you are using) from which the script will ask you to enter your choice. Enter the value ‘9’ as the optimum value for your phone. If your phone has RAM lower than 512 MB, you should choose 7 or 8. This will start the optimization of the operating system. In between you will come across some lines that state that the phone is 0% supercharged and a few other lines stating the current and increased OOM values.

Step 7

Step 7

 

 

Later you will see the line‘100% supercharged’ towards the end of the script. Once the script has finished running, you might be asked to reboot the phone for the values to take effect. When done, simply exit the app, reboot the phone and you will see the difference in performance gradually increasing. To check if the phone is supercharged, you can run the script again and choose number ‘1’ from the list to see the status of the launcher and the supercharge. 

 

We conducted a small test using ‘Antutu Benchmark’ to see if there has been any difference in the graphics performance, and we did. We used two phones—the HTC Desire Bravo which has a 1 GHz processor and 576 MB of RAM running Oxygen GB ROM and the other one using HTC EVO 3D GSM which has a Dual Core 1.2 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM running stock GB Sense 3.0 ROM. The 3D graphics values of the HTC Desire jumped from 593 to 625 while the HTC EVO 3D jumped from 756 to 843. 

Step 8

Step 8

 

 

You can optionally choose to run the script every time you boot the handset to ensure you have the supercharger script doing its work in the background and you have a smoother handling experience. To do this, all you need to do is run the Script Manager, choose the Supercharger Script (the file will be named as 99SuperCharger.sh) from the ‘/data’ folder and select the option to run as root and run at boot before running the script again. This option will enable the operating system to include the supercharger script at every boot. 

 

Note: Some might not experience too much of an improvement and are free to try different values when running the script. You may revert all changes by simply choosing number ‘15’ which reflects as ‘Unsupercharge’ in the list while running the script again.

 

Note: Rooting the phone, running apps with root privileges, running the supercharger script and similar actions can cause your phone to become unstable, get bricked and void its warranty. We are not responsible for any mishaps or damage caused to your device by following this workshop. Do it at your own risk. Those who intend doing it anyways, we recommend a full nandroid backup before doing so.   


Published Date: Apr 23, 2012 10:09 am | Updated Date: Apr 23, 2012 10:09 am